Longtime Boy Scout leader arrested for child porn

James Roberts

A Boy Scout leader in New Jersey who had a four-decade-old history with the organization was charged with possessing and distributing child pornography, authorities said.

James Roberts, 74, was arrested Friday after detectives from the High-Tech Crimes Unit of the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office found several digital devices in his Sicklerville home containing images and video of child pornography, Camden County Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo said.

He was taken into custody at the Camden County Correctional Facility, where he was awaiting a bail hearing, authorities said.

Roberts, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by Philly.com, admitted to a detective that he used a file-sharing program to view, download and share child pornography.

Roberts, the master scout leader for Boy Scout Troop 132 in Sicklervlle, has been involved in the Boy Scouts organization for 40 years. He has since been banned from the troop and prohibited from participating in Boy Scout programs in the future, according to a statement obtained by The Post from the organization’s top official in New Jersey.

“This individual’s behavior is abhorrent and runs counter to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America stands,” said Kevin Bishop, scout executive and CEO of the Boy Scouts’ Garden State Council, adding the allegations against Roberts appear unrelated to the organization.

“Nothing is more important than the safety of our youth members,” Bishop’s statement continued. “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.”

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