Local News

Ex-Orange summer camp manager faces child porn charges

Posted December 19, 2013 8:32 a.m. EST
Updated December 19, 2013 5:59 p.m. EST

— An Orange County man who worked at a summer camp for children was arrested Wednesday on federal child pornography charges, according to the sheriff's office. 

Bruce Howard Aycock, of 1520 Camp Circle in Chapel Hill, is charged with receiving child pornography and distribution of child pornography.

"He was trading child pornography with other individuals," said Chan McDade, an investigator with the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

According to investigators, Aycock was arrested following a two-month investigation that began after the Dropbox online file-sharing service tipped off the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Dropbox managers informed the center that one of its users was storing and sharing sexually explicit material, according to an affidavit for a search warrant. The IP addresses associated with the account traced to a computer at New Hope Camp & Conference Center, a private camp in Orange County, and to a computer at Aycock's home, which is on camp property, the affidavit states.

Orange County deputies searched the home and the camp offices and seized several desktop and laptop computers, digital cameras, a video camera, CDs filled with photos, external hard drives, flash drives and other electronic devices, according to search warrants.

"As technology changes, it seems like the bad guys figure out new ways to hide their activity. So now, instead of being in the computer, it's stored somewhere off site," McDade said. "They have access to it, and they can give other individuals access to those accounts."

He called the case "one of the worst cases I've worked on" in the past decade or so, noting that authorities found thousands of sexually explicit photos and hundreds of children, many under age 5, in the materials they seized.

"There was nothing I have been able to find that was in Orange County," he said.

Richard Stevens, executive director of New Hope, said that Aycock was suspended as soon as camp officials became aware of the allegations against him, and he resigned shortly thereafter.

"There are no allegations that Mr. Aycock's activities involved New Hope Camp & Conference Center, to our knowledge, and we understand that all of the allegations revolve around Mr. Aycock's activities on the Internet," Stevens said in a statement.

Authorities said Aycock worked at the camp for five years, most recently as program director.

Aycock was turned over to U.S. marshals in Greensboro.