Chapel Hill News

Chapel Hill camp counselor pleads guilty to child porn charge

A former Orange County camp counselor pleaded guilty Friday in a Greensboro courtroom to a felony child pornography charge.

Bruce Howard Aycock, 35, of 103 Groomsbridge Court, Chapel Hill, will be sentenced June 10 in federal criminal court on one felony count of receiving child pornography.

A second charge of distributing child pornography could be dismissed at the sentencing hearing, court officials said. Court records show Aycock rejected a court-ordered psychosexual evaluation.

He has been held in the Greensboro Detention Center without bail since his Dec. 16 arrest and could face another five to 20 years in federal prison. Aycock also could be fined up to $250,000. After his release, the court could order him to report for supervised probation and to register as a sex offender.

Richard Stevens, executive director of New Hope Camp & Conference Center, suspended Aycock immediately after learning about the charges. Aycock, who had worked at the camp for five years, then resigned, Stevens said.

Investigators said they don’t think the case involved local children.

Orange County Sheriff’s investigators looked into the case for two months after receiving a cybertip from the State Bureau of Investigation and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Aycock reportedly used a Dropbox Inc. account to store and share child pornography. Dropbox is an online file storage and sharing service.

Investigators seized records in October from Dropbox Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. They also searched Aycock’s home and office, both of which are located at Camp New Hope.

The camp, off N.C. 86 between Chapel Hill and Hillsborough, has offered summer and overnight camp experiences to elementary- and middle-school age children since 1949. New Hope Presbyterian Church owns the camp but leases it to a six-member board of directors representing six area churches.

Aycock, who has a master’s degree in Christian education, is a 2004 graduate of Union Presbyterian Seminary, based in Virginia. He previously served as a youth director at Cape Fear Presbyterian Church in Wilmington.