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Boy Scouts organization bans Kenosha man charged with child porn
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Boy Scouts organization bans Kenosha man charged with child porn

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The Boy Scouts of America is banning a Kenosha man from involvement in the organization after he was charged Monday with possession of child pornography and stalking.

Howard Hickey, 56, a committee chairman with a Kenosha Boy Scout troop, was charged with seven felonies including stalking, possession of child pornography and exhibiting an intimate representation without consent.

He is alleged to have posed as a teenage boy named “Ryan” online to strike up a relationship with a 16-year-old Illinois girl. After convincing the girl to send “Ryan” sexually explicit photos and videos, he is alleged to have waged a multi-year “revenge porn” campaign against the girl once she cut off contact with him, sending her hundreds of threatening and demeaning messages and posting more than 200 ads on prostitution sites using her photos and phone numbers.

A police investigation that began in late 2019 in Illinois eventually led to Hickey, who according to a criminal complaint admitted to investigators that he had posed as a 16-year-old boy in meeting the girl online and that he had sent the messages and placed the ads.

He was arrested after Kenosha Police served a warrant on his home on the 8500 block of 64th Street July 2. As police attempted to seize Hickey’s electronic devices during the warrant search, Hickey is alleged to have grabbed his iPad from an investigator’s hand, smashing it against a banister.

Hickey is the troop committee chairman for Boy Scout Troop 512 in Kenosha, according to the troop’s website. On Tuesday, a spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America refused through an email to answer questions about how long Hickey had been involved with the troop or with Boy Scouts, or answer questions about the roles he had served with the organization, referring those questions to Kenosha Police. The email stated that the organization learned of the charges against Hickey Monday.

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The spokesman stated in an email that Hickey would be barred from further involvement with scouts.

The email included a statement from Andrew Hardin, chief executive of the Three Harbors Council of the Boy Scouts of America, which oversees Kenosha County troops.

“This described behavior is reprehensible and runs counter to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America stands,” it states. “While this incident appears to be unrelated to Scouting, upon learning of this today, we took immediate action to remove this individual from Scouting and prohibit him from any future participation in our programs.”

The email stated that the organization plans to hold a meeting with local scouting families to inform them of Hickey’s arrest and to discuss resources in place “to help parents have important conversations with their children about how to stay safe and what to do if they ever feel unsafe.”

According to the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department, Hickey posted a $20,000 bond after his initial court appearance Monday and was released from jail.

He is next scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing July 14.

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