Not Good: Boy Scout Leader Caught With Child Porn

Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

A 74-year-old man who has served as a Boy Scout Troop leader for 40 years has confessed to having multiple devices full of pornographic pictures of children.

Breitbart is reporting on the appalling case of James Roberts, who served as Sicklerville Boy Scout Troop 132’s leader for four decades and who was caught this week by the High-Tech Crimes Unit of the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office in possession of child pornography. Roberts was found to have been using a file-sharing program to view, obtain, and distribute child pornography.

The Boy Scouts, which has been surrounded by controversy in recent years, most notably for allowing openly gay men to serve as scout leaders, was quick to respond to Robert’s arrest.

“Nothing is more important than the safety of our youth members,” said Kevin Bishop, scout executive and CEO of the Boy Scouts’ Garden State Council to the New York Post.

“We seek to prevent child abuse through comprehensive policies and procedures to serve as barriers to abuse. These include a thorough screening process for adult leaders and staff, criminal background checks, requiring two or more adult leaders be present with youth at all times during Scouting activities, and the prompt mandatory reporting of any allegation or suspicion of abuse.”

He went on to say that the allegations against Roberts “appear to be unrelated to his work within the organization” although it is not clear from the arrest affidavit if any of the children in the material found in his possession were involved with the Boy Scouts.

It is also not clear what alerted police to his activities.

The Boy Scouts have been under increasing scrutiny after making a series of controversial decisions such as allowing openly gay youth to join in 2014. A year later, they extended the welcome to openly gay troop leaders. In 2017, the organization allowed transgender boys to enroll in boys-only programs. This was followed in 2018 by the inclusion of girls in the formerly all-boys club.

Parents, many of whom are already wary of the direction the Boy Scouts seems to be heading, are not likely to be reassured by this latest ominous development.

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