Former police officer accused of sexual abuse while working as D.A.R.E officer

Former Warminster Township Police Officer James Carey is accused of sexually abusing four teen-age boys while he worked as a D.A.R.E. officer two decades ago.

Video Transcript

MATT WEINTRAUB: Good afternoon. I'm Bucks County District attorney Matt Weintraub. As a community, this is one of our worst nightmares come to life. And the irony isn't lost on me that this is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. But we're here to announce the arrest of now defendant James Carey, but formally full-duty Warminster cop from 1989 through 2006 while was on active duty.

He is now charged with sexually abusing four adolescent males from the period of 1989 to 2000 while he was an active duty police officer. We still have grave concerns that this defendant may have abused additional victims from 2000 to 2006. And frankly, we don't even want to limit it to that time period. And that is one of the substantive reasons that I'm before you today. I'm going to talk a little bit about this defendant's history.

When he was a police officer in Warminster township, he was assigned to the elementary, middle, and high schools in the Centennial School District in Warminster. He also, as a police officer, ran the Fire Explorer Program in the Warminster Fire Department. And he did so along with his deceased co-molester, Chuck Goodenough who recently committed suicide. We identified Goodenough's victims, who were linked to him through the Boy Scouts and their camp, Camp Ockanickon But both Carey and Goodenough we're heavily involved in the Boy Scouts at the same time.

So Officer Carey ran the Fire Explorer Program for young people. He was the DARE officer and was also heavily involved in Scouts. He would take kids on overnight camping trips through the Warminster Park and Rec Department. And although we have records of those trips having occurred, the records identifying the kids who attended the trips and parental consent for those trips either never existed or has been lost.

The defendant remained working as a Warminster cop in his full capacity until 2006. And by way of history, he was fired. He won his job back through an arbitration, and then reached a settlement with Warminster Township in 2009, and retired as a corporal with full credentials. After leaving Warminster Township Police Department, he worked at a campground in Cape May, New Jersey named The Driftwood. He was fired from their, worked at the Coast Guard, not actively enlisted, was fired from there, and then as a bus driver for the Cape May County Schools last year, until he resigned.

I don't know what his current employment status is. I'm going to go way back in history for a moment here because this is important for you to know in, to be fully transparent. Bucks County detectives initially investigated this defendant 20 years ago in 2001 after Warminster Township Police Department received a report that he, meaning Carey, had inappropriately had contact with a 17-year-old boy. Warminster police also appropriately reported that to the Bucks County District Attorney's Office.

Determinate investigation and certain determinations were made. This was obviously before I became the district attorney. But I have no reason to suspect anything other than a professional investigation was conducted and that the only conclusion that could have been reached at that time was reached, unfortunately. Due to the age of consent at that time being 16-years-old, and due to not having full information about what had happened, the district attorney at that time was not able to file criminal charges against this defendant.

However, the district attorney in 2001, one of my predecessors who is now of Common Pleas Judge here, Diane Givens, did write a letter to the Warminster Township Police Department, saying that although Carey was unable to be charged criminally, that his behavior and conduct caused her grave concerns about the safety of children in his community for as long as he was employed as a police officer by Warminster Township. Those words turned out to be prophetic.

Now I urge you, if you're watching this, if you or somebody you know were molested by this man, please come forward contact us at bucksda.org or call us at 215-348-6504, even if it's anonymously. We will help you get justice. We can help you heal. I want to talk a little bit about this defendant's suspected MO, his Modus Operandi, his method of operation. He would get close to his victims, all young, adolescent males, under the false pretense of his official duty as a police officer and a trusted leader in his community.

I'm going to go over very briefly the illustrations on how this happened with our four victims for whom we've charged this defendant for molesting. Victim number one, his mother believed the defendant was a police officer who had only the best intentions in guiding her troubled son into making the right decisions. She trusted him as well.

The defendant began having sexual intercourse with victim number two when he, the victim, was approximately 13-years-old. He would pick this victim up while in full uniform in his patrol car. This victim was a child that he knew because he was this child's DARE officer at Log College and was from the Speedway neighborhood in Warminster.

Victim number three was first victimized at the rec center, which used to be a teen activity center near Log College in Warminster. Kids were known to go there after school and on days off to shoot hoops, and other activity, and frankly, just to be kids, not to be preyed upon. Victim three's first abuse occurred under the guise of a pat down search by the defendant on him at age 13.

Victim number four was a neighbor of the defendants in the Speedway section of Warminster. The same MO was used and the same surrounding circumstances. This victim had no father present. And his mother had issues. And this victim was looking for a father figure, a role model, somebody he could trust. And instead, he got James Carey. I am grateful to all four of these victims. They are courageous. And I admire their bravery and their courage in coming forward.

The defendant was arraigned this morning. He was arrested on these charges. And I would just like to say-- because this may be a question that some of you have-- that when setting bail, a magisterial district judge must consider essentially two factors, whether the defendant is a flight risk, and whether he is a continued danger to the community, as well as the seriousness of the charges. Bail in this case was set at 100,010% by MDJ Maggie Snow. I understand the defendant has posted bail and is at liberty, even as we speak.

His preliminary hearing is April the 22nd and will be held in Warminster at magisterial district Judge Finello's court. That date, of course, may be subject to change. This case will be prosecuted by First Assistant, Jennifer Schorn, ADA Brittany Kern, and the Bucks County detectives, detective Greg Vidler and Detective Tim Perkins, who conducted this investigation, this most recent investigation.