Eric Lusk was a talented writer, said Leighanne Martin Wright, former managing editor of The Elkin Tribune.
Wright said she was “shocked” when she heard that Lusk was charged with one count of third degree sexual exploitation of a minor (possession of child pornography). He faces an Aug. 14 trial date.
Wright, now the director of the Foothills Arts Council, hired Eric Lusk as the Tribune’s sports editor in February 2006, replacing sports editor Tim Wright.
“He was a wonderful coworker, writer and photographer,” Wright said.
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.
“I’ve worked here for 14 years, and he is one of the best sports writers this area has had,” said Heather Courts, former Starmount High School softball coach. “Anytime we called him to cover a story or take photos of an athlete’s signing for a college, he was always there.”
After leaving the Tribune in 2010, he started Lusk Media and continued to cover the area’s athletics through his Yadkin Valley Sports website and Foothills Magazine. His website, yadkinvalleysports.com, was last updated on May 22.
“Eric was always great to work with and very professional during interviews,” said Starmount High School football coach Scott Johnson. “I’ve been here since 1997, so I have been working with him since he started in 2006. He was always easy to talk to and presented the program and students well.”
Lusk was covering the area sports until his arrest on Thursday, May 24, 2012; charged with one count of third degree sexual exploitation of a minor (possession of child pornography), according to Chief Monroe Wagoner in an Elkin Police Department release.
The warrant signed by magistrate Chris Lane said Lusk “unlawfully, willfully and feloniously possessed material containing visual representation of an unknown white, seven-year-old female engaging in sexual activity with an adult male.”
“It was discovered by the North Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force,” said Elkin detective Mendy Peles.
The video was digitally downloaded from the Internet, according to Peeles.
Lusk was taken to the Surry County Jail and placed under a $10,000 secure bond and was released on bail on Friday, May 25. He faces an August 14, 2012, trial date.
At this time there are no updates on the case and is still under investigation, said Peeles and Wagoner.
“All of the evidence is in our state lab, and it can take up to two years to process,” Peeles said.
The Tribune contacted Lusk, who was unavailable for comment by deadline.
Reach The Tribune at 835-1513 or email@example.com.