BUFFALO TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – A local newspaper reporter has been suspended without pay after allegedly engaging in lewd behavior with a minor.
According to State Police, Patrick Shuster, 41, of Kittanning, sent a nude picture of himself to two girls, ages 12 and 13.
The alleged incident took place on June 29, when Shuster began a text message conversation with one of the girls. He had known the girl for about a year from various family functions.
According to the affidavit, Shuster asked the girls to send him a dirty picture. After sending him a picture of their dirty feet, he asked for another picture before sending the nude picture of himself.
“The content of the text message showed a picture of some male genitalia,” State Police Lt. Thomas Dubovi said.
The recipient of the picture came with her mother to State police saying she was an innocent victim.
“From our investigation, they didn’t solicit this at all – even sent him a text message back scolding him as to why would he send something like that,” Lt. Dubovi said.
Later in the day, Shuster engaged one of the victims in a conversation on Facebook and apologized. He also said, “Everything was deleted, I hope.”
He was interviewed by Pennsylvania State Police in East Franklin Township, where he allegedly admitted to sending the picture.
He said he thought the girl was 14 or 15-years-old and said he was sorry for his actions.
“He knew the family and was aware of their approximate age,” Lt. Dubovi said.
Shuster, a reporter for the Kittanning Leader Times, is facing charges of open lewdness, corruption of minors and indecent exposure.
He’s now out of jail on $15,000 bond. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for next week.