A Boy Scout troop leader and elected official from Thompson is facing charges after police say he sexually assaulted boys between the ages of 11 and 16 over a period of 20 years.
According to police, David Kress, 52, of Quaddick Road in Thompson, sexually assaulted scouts while leading Troop 66. Victims told police Kress sexually abused them at Boy Scout events at his home and "at locations where Kress was working."
Residents with ties to the troop said Kress has been involved in Troop 66 for decades.
Police obtained an arrest warrant for Kress following a 10-month investigation. He turned himself in the evening of Oct. 23 and was charged with three counts of employing minors in an obscene performance.
"It's disturbing for the children involved and for the people in town that knew him," said Thompson resident Christine Sullivan. "Children look up to these people, so for anyone to be doing anything that's negative in their lives, it's horrifying and traumatic for them."
Kress is also a member of the town Zoning Board of Appeals and was elected to serve a six-year term, according to the town Web site.
Thompson First Selectman Paul Lenky called the situation "a tough thing to absorb" and said the town has yet to take action against Kress.
"Legally, because he's an elected official, we have to take a look at it very closely before we make any decisions," Lenky said. "There are a lot of questions to be answered but we're going to have to do it the right way."
"The behavior included in these allegations runs counter to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America stands," Boy Scouts of America Communications Director Deron Smith said in a statement Monday. "Upon learning of these allegations we took immediate action to remove this individual and preclude him from any further participation in the Scouting program."
The Boy Scouts could not comment further except to say child safety is of the utmost importance and criminal background checks are conducted on all staff members.
Kress was released on a $100,000 bond and is due in court Nov. 5.
He could not be reached for comment. Information on an attorney was not immediately available.