A federal judge ordered a former Geneseo school athletic trainer Austin Pratt, 30, to home confinement and to wear an ankle monitoring device as he faces charges for child porn and enticing a minor.
The 14-year-old victim, who is part of the school’s cross country team, had a foot injury in November 2018. Pratt was the school’s athletic trainer and treated her injury. According to prosecutors, during that time he put his number in the teen’s cell phone and started texting her about her progress. It then turned sexual and the pair started sharing nude pictures on Instagram.
“She is a young girl with braces and typical teenager that didn’t deserve this,” said Melissa M. Marangola, Assistant U.S. Attorney.
Marangola made a fiery argument Thursday saying Pratt should remain behind bars now that he’s charged with production of child pornography and enticing a minor. Marangola said Pratt was brazen enough to meet the teen at her home during the course of the exchange and if released he’d pose a danger to the community.
“He abused his position of power in the school district,” said Marangola. “The fact that he went to this victim’s home while she was home sick from school shows that he has a blatant disregard of judgment and that’s incredibly concerning to me and the government.”
The investigation began after the victim’s parents located the texts between their daughter and Pratt.
The criminal complaint details the alarming messages between the two.
Pratt: “I seriously cannot stop thinking about you or wanting you.”
In another section of the complaint Pratt texts “ Yea. mom and dad wouldn’t be happy” soon followed by “just delete delete delete.”
Victim: “True I’m sneaky now” and then by “learned my lesson to delete everything.”
Pratt: “good. I like life outside of prison.”
The defense did not want to comment on camera but argued that even though Pratt was previously arrested in state court several months ago and was released, he wouldn’t pose a flight risk and would comply with the court’s conditions.
“With that said he is on the highest form of conditions home incarceration meaning he can never leave the house and he’s on an ankle bracelet. So we’ll continue to monitor his movements,” said Marangola.
Additionally, the judge ordered that Pratt cannot have access to the internet, communication with the victim or her family, have no contact with underage teens.
The enticement of a minor charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years of imprisonment while the production of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum of 15 years imprisonment sentence.
Pratt is due back in court May.