Boy Scout camp director nabbed in child pornography probe

A Michigan man who ran a Boy Scout camp and worked at a pool is alleged to have used his cellphone camera to covertly create video of young boys changing in the locker room. The case is part of a federal crackdown on child pornography.

By , Staff writer

A Boy Scout camp director and YMCA pool safety instructor in Michigan has been named in a seven-count federal indictment charging that he used the digital camera on his cellphone to secretly create a video of young boys undressing in the boys’ locker room.

Scott Allan Herrick of Twin Lakes, Mich., faces up to 170 years in prison, lifetime supervised release, and $1.75 million in fines if convicted.

According to federal court documents, Mr. Herrick sent images of child pornography to an FBI agent working undercover on Internet websites suspected of trading illicit images of children. The agent traced the images back to Herrick. A search of Herrick's computer allegedly revealed more illegal images.

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The federal investigation of Herrick was part of a nationwide effort to crack down on child predators and the trade in child pornography. It is called Project Safe Childhood, and it is aimed in part at educating local communities about the dangers of online child exploitation. The project also seeks to teach children how to protect themselves from exploitation.

Herrick was the camp director of the Gerber Boy Scout Camp in Twin Lakes. He also worked as a pool instructor at the YMCA in Muskegon, Mich.

He was arrested July 8 and on Wednesday was charged with four counts of sexual exploitation of children through use of his cellphone camera to create video images. He was also charged with two counts of distributing child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

The investigation began in April, when an undercover agent working in Rochester, N.Y., gained access to a private peer-to-peer network suspected of involvement in trading child pornography. The agent established contact with an o-line user named “Joshiex.” The new online acquaintance offered the undercover agent access to a shared directory of approximately 436 videos and images of child pornography.

Among the images were those of teenage boys in Boy Scout uniforms. “One of the images depicted a child in a Boy Scout uniform with his genitals exposed,” according to an FBI affidavit.

Agents obtained a search warrant for the camp director’s residence at the Boy Scout camp. They discovered files of child pornography on Herrick’s desktop computer that someone had attempted to delete, including images of sexual conduct between men and prepubescent boys, the documents state.

During questioning, Herrick allegedly admitted that he downloaded, distributed, and possessed child pornography. He also allegedly admitted using the name “Joshiex.”

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