TODAY'S PAPER
55° Good Afternoon
55° Good Afternoon
Long IslandCrime

Ex-musical director at St. Agnes indicted on child porn charges, prosecutors say

St. Agnes Cathedral, the seat of the Diocese

St. Agnes Cathedral, the seat of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, shown on Oct. 5, 2017. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

A grand jury has indicted on child pornography charges the former co-director of music at St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre, prosecutors said.

Michael Wustrow pleaded not guilty at his arraignment before Magistrate Judge Anne Shields in Central Islip Feb. 20. He is being held without bail at Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn until a March court appearance, said John Marzulli, spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York.

Wustrow’s lawyer, James Pascarella, could not be reached for comment.

The Feb. 19 indictment charged Wustrow, 56, with one count each of receipt and possession of child pornography, both felonies. Some of the images were stored on an Apple iPhone that authorities seized from Wustrow’s home Sept. 11, 2017, according to the indictment.

The crimes were allegedly committed in Brooklyn, according to an information sheet accompanying the indictment. Marzulli said FBI agents and a Suffolk County police detective arrested Wustrow but he did not know where.

In a statement Tuesday, the diocese said it learned of the investigation of Wustrow after law enforcement executed a search warrant and seized his work computer.

Wustrow was relieved of all parish and diocesan duties, and subsequently dismissed, diocesan spokesman Sean Dolan said. 

"The Diocese and St. Agnes Parish cooperated fully with law enforcement officials at all times," Dolan said. "Our priority is the protection of children and young people, as well as keeping our community informed. When we learned that there was an investigation of Mr. Wustrow regarding child exploitation, we provided timely information and outreach assistance to our community."

Wustrow came to St. Agnes in 1993 and was for years a fixture in the world of sacred music, serving on the board of a major national choral organization and playing the organ at prestigious locations such as St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan, according to St. Agnes’ website in 2017.

Wustrow’s duties then included conducting eight choirs including two 70-voice girls choirs and a 50-voice choir for boys and girls in grades 1-2, the website said at that time.

In fall 2017, Wustrow was preparing to leave Long Island to take a new position as director of music elsewhere, according to that diocese's communications office.

With Bart Jones

 

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

Latest Long Island News