Boy Scout leader charged with child pornography indicted on felony charges

RICHLAND COUNTY, Ohio -- A Boy Scout leader in Richland County was indicted on federal charges Thursday, including sexual exploitation of children.

The four counts against 39-year-old Thomas Close also include having child pornography.

Investigators say Close created, received, and distributed child pornography.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says he secretly recorded boy scouts while they were changing before or after swimming at his home in Shelby and also at the YMCA in Sandusky, as well as at the Firelands Scout Reservation.

An affidavit submitted by a Homeland Security investigator indicates Close acknowledged filming the boys between 2011 and 2018.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Close also had five terabytes of child pornography on his computer, which he reportedly admitted to downloading.

Close was arrested in November and charged with sexual exploitation of children and receiving and distributing child pornography.

He's scheduled to be arraigned on Monday.

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