Durham Boy Scout leader charged with photographing nude toddler

akenney@newsobserver.comApril 21, 2014 

— Sheriff’s deputies have accused a leader of a Boy Scouts of America troop in Bahama with exploiting a toddler to create pornographic images.

Investigators suspect John Herbert Adams, 50, of 44 Blazing Star Lane “willfully and feloniously did photograph and duplicate material containing a visual representation” of a girl between 3 and 4 years old “ ... engaged in sexual activity ...” and that he possessed similar images.

The warrants allege that Adams committed the offenses between 2010 and Thursday, the date of his arrest. Adams was charged with felony taking indecent liberties with a child, second-degree sexual exploitation of a child and third-degree sexual exploitation of a child, and a misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile, according to arrest warrants.

Adams is a former member of Troop 439’s leadership committee, according to a regional scouting leader. He described himself on a blog in 2010 as a father of two teenagers.

Adams has been involved with local scouting for at least three years, said John Akerman, CEO of the regional Occoneechee Council for the BSA. Adams was listed as the contact person for Troop 439 on DurhamScouts.org for several years, according to digital archives kept by Archive.org and Google. The digital records list him as a contact as early as July 2011 and as late as this month.

Upon hearing of the allegations, the Boy Scouts immediately removed and banned Adams from the organization, according to Akerman, who added that the Boy Scouts use background checks and other forms of research and education to prevent child abuse.

“Although these events are unrelated to Scouting, along with the rest of the community we are shocked to learn about the allegations against this individual, which run counter to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America stands,” Akerman wrote in an email.

Adams left the Durham County jail on Thursday after posting a $75,000 bond, according to county records. He could not be reached for comment.

Adams is a computer programmer at Old Dominion Freight Line, according to a LinkedIn profile that was deleted after his arrest, according to Google’s digital records. He attended Appalachian State University and previously worked for Dancik International, Biscuitville, The Pantry, Bayer CropScience, MedBill, Nello Construction Company and SunTrust Bank according to the archived profile.

In 2010, Adams described himself in a personal blog as “a very conservative” Christian who was married with two children, then aged 15 and 17. He raised money for multiple-sclerosis organizations and Habitat for Humanity, along with his involvement with Boy Scouts, according to the page.

Kenney: 919-829-4870; Twitter: @KenneyNC

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