The sentencing of Eric Blaine Lusk (42) has been delayed again, The Tribune has learned. The new sentencing date is Sept. 19 in a Greensboro courtroom.
Lusk, of Elkin, plead guilty to one count of possession of child pornography and one count of production and distribution of obscenity on May 9.
Lusk entered his plea in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, before United States District Judge Thomas D. Schroeder.
However, on July 25 the Lusk case was reassigned to Justice William L. Osteen, Jr. in Greensboro.
According to a spokesperson from the clerk’s office for the United States District Court Middle District of North Carolina, judges reassign cases for a variety of reasons. “It could be because of a variety of reasons; a scheduling conflict, a vacation, a conflict of interest — lots of reasons on how it happens,” said the spokesperson
Justice Osteen is the Chief Judge for the Middle District of North Carolina. He had planned to sentence Lusk on Sept. 6.
A source close to the Lusk investigation indicated that the defense attorney had religious obligations on the Sept. 6 sentencing date.
Justice Osteen rescheduled the sentencing for Sept. 19. at 9:00 a.m.
According to Lusk’s plea, while acting as a professional photographer for youth sporting events, Lusk took close-up photographs of the pubic area of members of an Elkin girls’ swim team while the girls were wearing swimsuits. Lusk then anonymously distributed those photographs through file-sharing networks, labeling the photographs with names associated with child pornography.
By labeling the swim team photographs in that way, the photographs came up as search results for persons seeking child pornography on file-sharing networks. When the distribution of the swim team photographs was traced back to Lusk, a search of his computers showed he possessed child pornography independent of any photographs he had taken.
From his first issue on Feb. 1, 2006, to his last on June 9, 2010, Lusk covered sports in Surry, Wilkes and Yadkin counties for The Tribune.
Prior to working for The Tribune he graduated from the University North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in journalism. He worked at the Wake Weekly as sports editor, the Cary News as an education reporter and The Verde Independent in Arizona as sports editor, according to a Feb. 6, 2006, issue of the Tribune.
Lusk faces a maximum sentence of up to ten years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of five years to life.
Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 336-835-1513 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org