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Fired Boy Scout exec faces child porn charges

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Federal prosecutors have filed child pornography possession charges against a man who until recently was a top leader with the Boy Scouts in southwestern Indiana.

Prosecutors announced the charges Tuesday against 33-year-old Ryan Bieler of Jasper. Bieler was arrested earlier this month, and the Evansville-based Buffalo Trace Council said it fired him from his job as a senior district executive once it learned about the allegations, the Evansville Courier & Press and WFIE-TV reported.

Bieler is charged with buying DVDs from a foreign company that were shipped to his home and downloading Internet videos of boys and girls engaging in various sexual activities, according to court documents.

John Harding, the top executive of the Boy Scouts council, said Bieler primarily worked with adults in the movement, such as troop leaders, in an area covering Pike, Dubois, Spencer and Warrick counties near Evansville.

U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett said the scout officials were cooperating fully with investigators.

A federal magistrate on Tuesday ordered that Bieler remain jailed pending further court hearings. The Associated Press left a telephone message Wednesday seeking comment from his defense attorney, Ivan Arnaez of Evansville.

Harding said he was shocked to learn about the charges against Bieler and that the scout council was notifying parents about the arrest.

“There is no evidence that indicated that any Indiana youths have been impacted by Mr. Bieler in a negative way,” Harding said. “He was not in direct contact with any children. His primary job was working with adults.”

Court documents said Bieler came under scrutiny after federal investigators began tracing child pornography offered for sale by the foreign company and searched his home on Nov. 8. Investigators reported finding written materials in Bieler’s house in which he described his physical attraction to particular boys he knew.

Hogsett said authorities were continuing to investigate Bieler’s activities.

“These types of cases are troubling, but they are made even more disturbing when the individuals charged are those who occupy positions of trust with our children,” Hogsett said.

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