State Police began investigating him in September 2011 when the girl, then 18, came forward claiming Puskas had sexually exploited her for years.
The woman, whose name has not been released, told investigators they first met when she was 6 or 7 years old. He was her soccer coach at the time.
Although they didn't have sex until she was 16, the romantic relationship began two years earlier, she said.
She was 14 years old when he carried her off the field with an injury and into a storage room where he told her he loved her, kissed her and asked for her phone number, which she provided.
The first time they were intimate he came to her while on duty and in uniform.
She told police they had sex nearly every day from then until their relationship ended in April 2011, about the time she turned 18. She also claimed they met behind a Jackson County school on several occasions and had sex on the hood of his patrol car.
Puskas admitted in court to using his Ripley police-issued digital camera to make one video of them having sex. He used a cellphone to take pornographic pictures of the girl.
Puskas possessed between 10 and 150 pornographic images of the girl that were taken when she was underage, according to the U.S. Attorney's office. He admitted in court documents to saving the pictures to a flash drive and the video to a laptop.
State Police executed a federal search warrant last spring on Puskas' home and at the Ripley Police Department. Troopers recovered a flash drive and laptop computer from his desk. Puskas admitted to deleting the images and video from the computer before the search last spring.
The flash drive, computer and other electronic items were forfeited as part of the plea.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Johnston argued to have Puskas detained until his sentencing later this year, but David Bungard, Puskas' attorney, argued that Puskas had been compliant while on home confinement for the last five months.
Bungard said Puskas had been living with his parents in Jackson County while on home confinement. He has been caring for his chronically ill mother and watching over his two-year-old daughter while his wife, who is expecting their second child, worked in sales.
Bungard said he didn't feel comfortable having Puskas in jail with other inmates who would find out eventually that he was a police officer. Johnston agreed that any time Puskas spent in jail between now and his sentencing would have to be in protective custody.
Copenhaver said Puskas had been compliant while on home confinement and decided not to change the arrangement.
In addition to prison time, Puskas also faces up to $250,000 in fines and five years to life on supervised release. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 1.
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at ashley.cr...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4850.
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