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Former St. Agnes music director indicted on child porn charges

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The former co-director of music at St. Agnes Cathedral was indicted by a grand jury last week on child pornography charges, prosecutors said.

The Feb. 19 indictment charged Michael Wustrow, 56, with one count each of receipt and possession of child pornography, which are felonies. The alleged crimes were reportedly committed in Brooklyn. He was arrested on Feb. 20 and pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Central Islip, according to John Marzulli, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

The Diocese of Rockville Centre removed Wustrow from his position in September 2017 after it learned of a federal investigation regarding possible charges of child exploitation, the diocese had said in a statement that month. The FBI had executed a search warrant and seized his work computer, it added. Wustrow was supposed to begin a new job on Nov. 1, 2017 as music director of the Catholic Diocese of Orlando, the Orlando Sentinel reported at the time.

“Our priority is the protection of children and young people, as well as keeping our community informed,” Sean Dolan, spokesman for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, said in a statement Tuesday. “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 joined the diocese in 1993 and also served as director of the Diocesan Adult Choir. He has extensive experience as a choral conductor and organist, and has performed regularly at St. Agnes Cathedral, as well as at recitals across the country, according to the diocese.

St. Agnes’s music program, which Wustrow co-directed with Michael Bower, has eight singing groups, including a children’s choir made up of first- and second-graders, two girls’ choirs comprising girls in grades 3 through 8 and a Choir of Men and Boys for those in grades 3 through 12.

Wustrow is being held without bail at Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn until his next court appearance on March 21, Marzulli said.

His lawyer, James Pascarella, did not immediately return the Herald’s call.