MUNCIE, Ind. – A Boys Scouts volunteer has been arrested after allegedly “grooming” a 15-year-old scout for sex.
James Colter, 21, of Muncie, was arrested Tuesday following an investigation.
Muncie police believe Colter “groomed” the victim for sex after giving him special responsibilities within Boy Scouts of America.
“They met at a scouting event and that kind of started the process of him kind of taking the juvenile under his wing, so to say. We often refer to that as grooming, so he took a special interest in this child. I think it’s kind of sad because he was new to the area and he was looking for new friends and acceptance,” a detective told us.
He has been charged with five counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, along with child seduction and contributing the delinquency of a minor.
Colter has been removed from his volunteer position.
Boy Scouts of America released the following statement:
“The behavior included in these allegations is reprehensible and runs counter to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America stands. Upon learning of these reports from law enforcement, we took immediate action to remove this individual and prohibit him from any future participation in our programs.
“Nothing is more important than the safety of our youth members. 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.
“Anyone with any information on potential abuse should contact authorities to ensure the safety of our youth, in and out of Scouting.
“The BSA also offers assistance with counseling to any youth member, former youth member, or the family of any youth member who suffered abuse during their time in Scouting. We encourage anyone who needs these services to request them through the BSA toll-free helpline (1-844-726-8871) and email contact address (email@example.com), which is staffed to help with these sensitive matters.”