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Counselor Lured Students with Drugs and Took Nude Photos

An Indiana school counselor for at-risk students allegedly promised to help the students launch their modeling careers as he gave them alcohol, marijuana, and ecstasy.


From a position of power and trust. Photo via

By Bryan Le


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Darrell Hughes, a 55-year-old counselor to at-risk students for New Castle Community Schools, has been arrested for luring male teenage students to his home to take nude photographs while supplying them with alcohol and drugs.

“These young men were already facing challenges and difficulties in their own lives,” said U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett. Hughes is accused of taking at least five students to his home since 2008, giving them alcohol, ecstasy, and marijuana while taking compromising photos and videos without their knowledge via hidden cameras. “It is alleged (Hughes) had them strip nearly naked to take photographs he promised would help launch their modeling careers,” says Hogsett. “He allowed them to take showers at his home where it’s alleged that he rigged an elaborate system of hidden cameras to capture their every move.”

One of the boys claims he was sexually assaulted in Hughes' home. The investigation began when one of the boys came forward and told police on January 15. Investigators are charging Hughes with felony sexual exploitation of a minor, and so far have discovered hidden cameras in Hughes' shower as well as a memory card containing a video of one of the boys showering. Gary Woolf, a federal agent on the case, called Hughes' crimes "particularly troubling given the defendant's position as a counselor working with at-risk youth," and that Hughes "betrayed the trust" of "the very children he was supposedly helping."

“You just never think something like that’s next door,” says a neighbor. “If I knew it was next door, I wish I could have stopped it earlier.” Hughes is currently being held without bond at the U.S. Marshal's office and faces 30 years in prison if convicted.

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