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Boy Scouts Official Guilty in Porn Case

March 30, 2005

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) _ A former high-ranking Boy Scouts of America official pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal child pornography charge.

Douglas Sovereign Smith Jr., 61, was accused of receiving images over the Internet of children engaging in sex acts. He pleaded guilty to a charge of possession and distribution of child pornography. He had been charged March 21, officials said Tuesday.

Smith, who lives in Colleyville, near Fort Worth, faces from five to 20 years in prison without parole and up to a $250,000 fine. He remains free until sentencing July 12.

Smith, who worked for the Boy Scouts 39 years, was a national program director and led a task force protecting youth from sexual abuse. But he did not work directly with children, Boy Scouts officials said.

Smith was put on leave last month, immediately after the organization learned of the allegations, and he then chose to retire.

Gregg Shields, national spokesman for the Boy Scouts, based in the Dallas suburb of Irving, said Tuesday that the organization was ``shocked and dismayed.″

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