Boy Scout Camp Director Sentenced to 95 Years for Distributing, Possessing, and Attempting to Produce Child Pornography
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 06, 2012|
GRAND RAPIDS, MI—Scott Allan Herrick, 40, of Twin Lakes, Michigan, was sentenced to serve 95 years in prison, U.S. Attorney Donald A. Davis announced today. Herrick surreptitiously videotaped boys as they were dressing in the boys’ locker room in the YMCA in Muskegon and kept a massive collection of 100,000 images of child pornography with him at the Gerber Boy Scout Camp in Twin Lakes, Michigan. He was convicted at trial of three counts of attempting to produce child pornography. On the first day of trial, Herrick pleaded guilty to two counts of distributing child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography.
The Honorable Paul L. Maloney, Chief U.S. District Judge, presided over the trial and sentencing. He considered Herrick’s assertion at sentencing that he had no sexual interest in children to be preposterous. Judge Maloney commented that the seriousness of the crimes cannot be overstated and that the lengthy sentence reflected his desire to protect the community from further acts by Herrick. He recognized that by sentencing Herrick to 1140 months (95 years) of incarceration, Herrick would likely spend the rest of his life in prison. Should Herrick live long enough for release, he must serve the rest of his life on supervised release. The judge explained that the sexual exploitation of children by using institutions like the Boy Scouts and the YMCA “tears at the social fabric of our country.” Judge Maloney wanted to send a message to others who would use their positions of trust with children for sexual exploitation—“You will be punished severely.”
Herrick was the camp director for Gerber Boy Scout Camp in Twin Lakes, Michigan. Herrick also worked as a pool safety instructor for third grade children at the YMCA in Muskegon, Michigan. Herrick was trading child pornography and was discovered during a series of undercover FBI operations. On July 1, 2010, FBI and Homeland Security Investigations-Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“HSI-ICE”) agents executed a search warrant on the Gerber Boy Scout Camp and discovered evidence of child pornography. Herrick was arrested on July 8, 2010, and has been held in custody since.
U.S. Attorney Davis echoed the judge’s concerns: “Herrick used and abused his position of trust in organizations dedicated to the health and welfare of children to satisfy his own perverse sexual interest in young boys. My office sought and secured firm punishment for this appauling violation of community trust and childhood innocence. My office places a high priority on child exploitation cases, which will mean very long and well-deserved time in prison for offenders like Herrick.”
“All children have an absolute right to grow up free from the fear of being sexually exploited,” said Brian M. Moskowitz, special agent in charge of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations in Detroit. “And children should never have to fear those who are supposed to protect them. HSI and our partners will relentlessly pursue anyone who sexually exploits our kids in any way.”
FBI Special Agent in Charge Andrew G. Arena said, “The FBI is committed to protecting our most precious assets, our children. Along with our law enforcement partners, the FBI will bring to justice those individuals who prey on the innocent.”
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, county prosecutor’s offices, an Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force, federal, state, and local law enforcement are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children. The partners in Project Safe Childhood work to educate local communities about the dangers of online child exploitation, and to teach children how to protect themselves. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit the following website: www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The investigation of this matter was conducted by FBI and HSI-ICE. Prosecution of this case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Mekaru.