Education A National Roundup

Former Boy Scouts Official Admits To Child-Pornography Charge

By Catherine Gewertz — April 05, 2005 1 min read

A former top official of the Boy Scouts of America pleaded guilty last week to a child-pornography charge.

Douglas S. Smith Jr., 61, appeared in U.S. District Court in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 30 to plead guilty to one felony count of obtaining and distributing child pornography, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

In February, federal investigators found 520 pictures and video clips on his home computer of males under the age of 18, including some younger than 12, engaged in sex acts, prosecutors said.

Mr. Smith worked for the Boy Scouts for 39 years, most recently as program director, said Gregg Shields, a spokesman for the Irving, Texas-based organization.

When Boy Scouts officials learned of the investigation, they placed Mr. Smith on leave, and he chose to retire a few days later, Mr. Shields said.

Mr. Smith’s lawyer, Jack V. Strickland, told the Associated Press that his client is a good man whose life should not be “defined by one incident.”

At his July 12 sentencing, Mr. Smith faces a prison term of five to 20 years.