Former Ohio Boy Scout leader admits to pornography, exploitation charges

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — A Boy Scout leader accused of recording boys changing clothes at a pool and inside teepees at an Ohio scout reservation has pleaded guilty to pornography and child exploitation charges.

Federal prosecutors say 39-year-old Thomas Close of Shelby faces up to 33 years in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday.

Investigators say Close recorded boys at a YMCA, his home bathroom and the scout reservation.

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

The Boy Scouts of America's Lake Erie Council in northern Ohio has said it cooperated with investigators and banned Close from future participation with the group.

A message seeking comment was left with his attorney.

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