Respectfully and calmly, Nathan Hasty admitted in open court to encouraging juvenile boys to send him sexually explicit photos.
Hasty, 36, a former Huntington resident and Youth for Christ worker, filed a guilty plea in U.S. District Court on April 11, admitting to sexual exploitation of children, one of three counts in an indictment handed down against him in the fall of 2012.
On Wednesday afternoon, U.S. District Magistrate Judge Roger Cosbey heard Hasty’s guilty plea in a brief hearing. Hasty will be sentenced at a later date.
As part of a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, Hasty will be sentenced to 15 years in prison and must forfeit a computer. Two other charges he had been facing will be dismissed.
When asked what he did that made him guilty, Hasty was brief and unequivocal.
When I lived in Huntington, Hasty said, I used the Internet to solicit sexually explicit photos of minors, your honor.
Speaking for the government, Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Miller Lowery told Cosbey the government would prove that Hasty created two email addresses, appearing to be those of adolescent girls and then used those email addresses to communicate with adolescent boys in his Youth for Christ group.
Through those email addresses, Hasty solicited the boys to send him pictures of themselves in varying stages of undress, including their genitalia and videos of them engaged in sex acts.
They believed they were corresponding with a juvenile female, Miller Lowery said. They were under the impression they were communicating with a female of like age.
While the boys were in geographic proximity to Hasty, the use of the Internet to facilitate the crimes brought the federal charge. In the 7th Circuit, of which the Northern District of Indiana is a part, the Internet is a means of foreign commerce, Miller Lowery said.
Hasty was suspended from Youth for Christ in July 2012, the day FBI agents went to his home to question him.
The board of directors fired him in September 2012.