Warning: this story contains disturbing details of child sexual abuse.
A 26-year-old man from Western New York was sentenced to 50 years in prison on Monday for production and possession of child pornography, crimes that federal prosecutors said were part of a “reign of terror” that spanned from when the defendant was 15 until 24.
During that time period, Dustin Post, of Fredonia, N.Y., “led a life characterized almost exclusively by predatory sexual behavior […] leaving nine children and one adult woman in his wake and an entire community reeling,” the government said in a sentencing memorandum.
While the government asked for Post to be sentenced to a statutory maximum of 1,920 months (160 years) for the purpose of showing the “defendant’s crime warrants a life sentence,” the defense asked the court to give Post another chance with a 15-year mandatory minimum sentence.
Post’s sentencing memo said that the defendant was never given much of chance in life, noting that he was molested when he was younger and abused by relatives; experienced mental health struggles; was raised by a neglectful mother with no father in the picture; took baths as a child with an older man while his mom was in the room; and didn’t even know how to bathe himself as a teen — believing what his mother had said about showers being bad for the skin.
Post “essentially raised himself with no guidance whatsoever,” the memo said. The defendant included as an exhibit a letter from a man identified as Randy Truax, who said he supervised Post in a work program. Truax said that Post, at the age of 18, “had never been taught to brush his teeth.” Truax also said that Post’s “maturity level was below normal.” For instance, Post watched the Disney Channel to learn to talk to people, Truax wrote.
Now, Truax noted, Post is the father of a 5-year-old son. Post says he has converted to Christianity since being detained for his crimes and now understands how much harm he has done.
But prosecutors repeatedly noted in their sentencing memo that Post was matter of fact rather than repentant when confronted by investigators:
[T]he defendant used threats, grooming, and deception to produce child pornography depicting himself forcibly abusing a 12-year-old girl (“MV1”) on two occasions. Specifically, according to the defendant, while the defendant and his wife were babysitting MV1 and her siblings he concocted a ruse in which he told MV1 that his young son had been kidnapped, and that the only way to get him back was to send a video of her “doing something naughty.” PSR ¶ 37. His goal was to record himself sexually abusing MV1. He flippantly described his ruse to investigators as “how [he] set it up to get [his] experience.” Id.
MV1 told a far more disturbing story. According to MV1 the defendant previously attempted to photograph her nude or in her underwear after he came into her bedroom uninvited. Id. ¶ 46. He propositioned her for sex by telling her—a 12-year-old girl—that he and his wife had “an open relationship.” Id. Eventually, when those attempts failed, the defendant attempted the ruse described above.
The government said that Post committed such sexual abuse time and again against girls as young as an infant and as old as 12 years old, relatives included:
To the contrary, the PSR [pre-sentence report] details years of sexual deviancy and abuse by the defendant, including sex with animals, enticement of minors via the internet, a collection of child pornography, and the hands-on sexual abuse of at least nine children between the ages of three months and 12 years.
The defendant appears to have started abusing children when he was 15 years old. By his own admission, he became sexually aroused while changing the diapers of two of his infant relatives, would sexually abuse them, and “approximated that he had ejaculated on them 100 times.”
Prosecutors said that Post tried to minimize his actions by claiming he “blacked out” when he forced a 12-year-old girl to “perform oral sex on him on a school bus in front of his friends,” documents said. Prosecutors also said that Post downplayed his actions in other ways:
When discussing how he anal raped his wife’s minor relative, he claimed that she “came onto” him.
He described his forcible sexual abuse of MV1 as “just oral.”
The memo signed by Assistant U.S. Attorney David Rudroff went into even more disturbing and graphic detail about the extent of Post’s criminality:
Having sexually abused three children before the age of 18 would be bad enough, but the defendant did not stop there. He effectively kidnapped an 8-year-old girl whom he was supposed to be taking to a birthday party and sexually abused her at a residence in Fredonia. He blindfolded the young girl and told her that he was putting a sucker in her mouth so she could guess the flavor. Instead, he forced his penis in her mouth—a ruse he called “the sucker game.”
The defendant also anally raped an 11-year-old female relative of his wife after soliciting her to send him child pornography, orally sodomized a three-year-old girl while her mother was recovering from a seizure, attempted to rape a 13-year-old girl at knifepoint, and bound four and six-year-old sisters with a cut-up lamp cord so he could play the sucker game, then drugged them with sleeping pills, anally raped one, and attempted to anally rape the other.
Prosecutors also said that Post’s “sexual depravity” included the anal rape of at least one adult woman victim ( “I basically raped you anally,” he allegedly told her) and sex with with his family’s dogs.
In the end, U.S. District Judge Lawrence Vilardo handed down a 50-year sentence that is much closer to the government’s life sentence recommendation than the mandatory minimum sought by the defense.
The Department of Justice said that the investigation began in 2019 after New York State Police received a report from a parent about the sexual abuse of a child.
[Image via Chautauqua County District Attorney’s Office]
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