Former Scout leader admits downloading child porn

Boy Scout leader Edward Orenchuk III, 23, leaves

Boy Scout leader Edward Orenchuk III, 23, leaves Nassau Police headquarters to be arraigned on felony child pornography charges including three counts of promoting a sexual performance by a child and three counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child. (Dec. 13, 2012) (Credit: Howard Schnapp)

A former Garden City Boy Scout leader who authorities said downloaded and shared child pornography with others on the Web apologized in a statement for his behavior and told investigators he needs "professional" help.

Edward Orenchuk III, 23, said he knew it was wrong for him to capture images of children engaging in sex with adults off the Internet and transfer them to his computer, according to the Dec. 12 statement to police, and he promised to never do it again.

"I can now only seek forgiveness from [God], do my penance and hope for forgiveness," Orenchuk said.

At his arraignment in First District Court in Hempstead Thursday, Orenchuk pleaded not guilty to three counts of promoting a sexual performance by a child as a sexually motivated felony and three counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child.

His court-appointed attorney, from the Nassau County Legal Aid Society, told the judge that Orenchuk plans to testify when a grand jury is convened to hear his case.

Orenchuk worked at the Garden City Public Library and was an Eagle Scout who serves as an assistant scout master with Boy Scout Troop 243 in Garden City. If convicted, he faces up to 7 years in prison.

Orenchuk's father and an unidentified woman were in court but they declined to comment afterward.

District Court Judge Sondra Pardes set bail at $200,000 cash or $400,000 bond and ordered Orenchuk, who was in custody Thursday, to return Dec. 17.

Carolyn Voegler, Garden City Library director, said she was unaware of the charges until she read news accounts and removed him from the work schedule.

A leader for Troop 243 could not immediately be reached for comment. But a spokesman for Theodore Roosevelt Council of Boy Scouts, which serves nearly 10,500 youth and 294 scouting units including Troop 243, said Thursday that Orenchuk's membership has been revoked. The organization issued a statement, saying it was "shocked to learn about the allegations," which run "counter to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America stands."

Investigators from the Nassau district's attorney's office tracked the downloaded images to Orenhuck's Wheeler Avenue home in Garden City. During a search, Orenchuk admitted he had "hundreds" of images on his computer, authorities said.

In his statement to police, Orenchuk said when he got his MacBook, he downloaded a program to retrieve child pornography off the Internet. However, he said he did not mean to share them with others.

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