Camp counselor arrested for sex crimes

April 24, 2009 3:48:06 PM PDT
A 20-year-old camp counselor in Bucks County has been charged with conducting a sexual reign of terror with male campers for two years.Investigators say it started about two years ago at Camp Men-o-Lan, a Christian sleep away camp in Milford, Bucks County.

Back then, 18-year-old camp counselor Joshua Farrell allegedly started soliciting sex from a pair of male campers who were between the ages of 13 and 15.

Authorities describe his approach as graphic and aggressive.

"When you read through, page by page, and instant message by instant message, he was relentless," Bucks County First Assistant District Attorney David Zellis said.

In fact, during the investigation State Troopers ended up finding hundreds of text messages, instant messages, and reported face-to-face encounters with other children outside the camp over the next two years.

"He would address young boys as "cutie" or "hey, beautiful," he would openly talk about being bisexual," Zellis said.

So far, 13 boys have been identified as alleged victims.

Eight were aggressively pursued, the other five were sexually assaulted, and all of them were between the ages of 13 and 15.

Officials from Camp Men-o-Lan say this is the first such reported incident in the program's 70 year history.

"We do extensive background checks, we require a minimum of three different types of recommendations from community leaders," camp executive director Bryan Smith said.

Farrell is free on $10,000 bail.

Action News went to his home in Quakertown where he lives with his father, but nobody answered the door.

Neighbors say Farrell is the kind of person who keeps a low profile.

To be clear, while it started as sexual solicitation at the camp, there have been no reports of molestation at the camp. The molestations and ensuing solicitations occurred at parking lots, malls, and hangouts all over the region.

The reason investigators found out about this case is because one of the victims' parents happened to see one of the graphic messages on her cell phone and called police.

If you can help with the investigation, you are asked to the State Police Dublin Barracks at 215-249-9191.

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