A former Blair High School activities director was sentenced to five years in federal prison and five years of supervised release Wednesday at the Roman L. Hruska Federal Courthouse in Omaha for possession of child pornography.
Dan Hutsell, 42, pleaded guilty to one count of knowingly distributing videos of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct in April. His five other charges, which also included possession of child pornography, were dismissed as part of the plea deal.
Clarence Mock, Hutsell’s attorney, recommended a minimum sentence due to Hutsell’s lack of criminal history prior to this charge.
“We’re dealing with an almost pitiful number of images — I think it was 10,” he said.
Klein, representing the U.S., said given the facts and circumstances in the case, as well as Hutsell’s role as a school administrator, he believed it was imperative that Hutsell be given an appropriate sentence to protect the public.
“He was dealing on a day-to-day basis with kids,” Klein said.
Hutsell spoke during the hearing, apologizing for his actions.
“I’m very sorry for what I’ve done. I know what I’ve done is wrong,” he said, also apologizing to his family and the city of Blair. “This is not a victimless crime. I know I messed up and I know I have to pay the consequences for that, and I’m very sorry.”
Judge Brian C. Buescher said given Hutsell’s criminal history, he felt a 60-month sentence was appropriate.
“(There was) no evidence he touched anyone inappropriately,” he said.
Buescher also recommended that Hutsell receive educational and vocational training while incarcerated, as well as sex offender treatment.
Following the hearing, Hutsell was detained and remanded under the custody of the U.S. Marshals.
Hustell was indicted by a grand jury on July 19, 2022.
During his first hearing that day, during which time he pleaded not guilty to all six charges, he was granted release from Douglas County Corrections on several conditions, which included no internet access unless searching for employment with supervision from his parents, whom he resides with; no contact with minors under the age of 18 other than his children; and cannot travel outside Douglas, Sarpy or Washington counties.
An electronic monitoring device was also installed at Hutsell's parent's residence.
According to a factual basis provided by Donald J. Klein in April, on Sept. 13, 2021, Stelivo, an electronic service provider located outside of Nebraska, identified at least one image of a minor "engaging in sexually-explicit conduct" on its server.
An investigation began, where authorities were eventually able to link a username to Hutsell's IP address, which showed a photo of a minor child engaged in sexually-explicit conduct.
Additional uploads and images were also found, which came from the same IP address using the site freechatnow.com.
Law enforcement executed a search warrant on Hutsell's home on Nov. 30, where Hutsell admitted to officers that he used his computer to trade pornography using freechatnow.com.