A Boy Scout leader accused of soliciting illicit photographs of underage boys on the Internet is scheduled to make his first court appearance Monday, March 19 in Boone County, Mo.
Ian F. Burow, 22, of Columbia, Mo. was arrested on charges of promoting a sexual performance by a child, sexual exploitation of a minor regarding one minor victim and suspicion of the attempted promoting of a sexual performance by a child regarding the second victim.
Victims were identified from across the state of Missouri including Hannibal and Sedalia, the Boone County Sheriff's Office said.
Burow remains in the Boone County Jail on a $75,000 bond.
Doug Callahan, executive director of the Boy Scouts of America Great Rivers Council , said Tuesday that Burow was a member of the Hannibal-based Mark Twain district. He obtained the rank of Eagle Scout while he was in Hannibal. That is the highest rank a scout can obtain. He moved to Columbia to attend the University of Missouri.
Burow worked as a 2011 camp staff member at the Hohn Scout Reservation near the Lake of the Ozarks in southern Missouri, Callahan said.
â??He was on the camp staff this past summer,â?? he said. â??I've seen him at some meetings (in Columbia) since then, but I don't know the last time he would have been in contact with his fellow staff members or scouts.â??
It was fellow camp staff member that brought the matter of suspicious Facebook activity to the attention of Boy Scout officials in November 2011. The matter was turned over to the Boone County Sheriff's Office and their Internet crimes task force.
â??Because of our youth-protection training, staff members saw something suspicious,â?? Callahan said. â??As soon as we received word from the task force last week of his arrest, he was immediately removed from scouting.â??
The investigation began in early November 2011 when the Boone County Sheriff's Department received the complaint from the Boy Scouts of America regarding inappropriate Facebook conversations involving scouts.
A Facebook account under the user name â??Sarah McGeeâ?? from Columbia, Mo. was soliciting minors for nude photographs of themselves, the Boone County Sheriff's Department said.
Scout officials believed that the account was fake and that it belonged to a male summer camp Boy Scout leader, the press release said.
A cyber-crimes task force obtained a warrant to search the account. The search uncovered a number of exchanges between the user and young boys, the release said.
The task force also used a search warrant to examine the email account linked to the Sarah McGee Facebook page. They found numerous sexually explicit photographs, the release says.
Investigators arrested Burow about 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning seizing his computer and cellular telephone. Many of the items revealed evidence linking Burow to the Sarah McGee account, according to the press release.
It's believed that many of the boys who were contacted attended scout camps during the past summers where Burow served as a scout leader, the release says.
The Cyber Crimes Task Force is asking anyone contacted by or engaged in any conversations with a person purporting themselves to be a female named Sarah McGee of Columbia, Mo to contact a Task Force investigator at 573-442-4302.