VERMILION, Ohio - An assistant counselor at a church camp in Erie County has been arrested after he allegedly performed a sex act on one of the campers.
The police report said the incident happened in the early morning hours of Friday, June 22, at the Beulah Beach Camp and Retreat Center in Vermilion.
According to the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, 20-year-old Justin James of Columbus told deputies three campers stayed in his room that night – two campers slept in a bed together and the alleged victim slept in James’ bed.
James told investigators they were all “clowning around” with each other, and then James and the victim, a 16-year-old boy from Columbus, gave each other massages before falling asleep.
The report said the victim told police that James woke him up in the middle of the night and said something like “forgive me for what I am about to do,” and then pulled down the boy’s pants and performed a sex act on him and kissed him.
The victim told police the two of them then went outside and talked about what happened, and James apologized again – and begged the teen not to tell anyone about the incident.
When the teen woke up, he told his group leader about what happened and the police were called.
After deputies arrived, they asked James’ what had occurred, and he said “a big mistake,” the report said.
James’ gave police a full interview and then was arrested. He was charged with sexual battery. His bond was set at $50,000 during a court hearing Tuesday morning.
James’ next court appearance is scheduled for July 3 at 2:15 p.m.
The police report said James was an assistant team leader for the Crossfire Youth Group based out of the Judah Christian Community in the Columbus, Ohio, area. There were about 60 campers, as well as 12 team leaders and 12 assistant team leaders at the camp last week.
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