Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Scout chaperone charged after cameras found in S Bar F Scout Ranch shower rooms
topical alert top story

Scout chaperone charged after cameras found in S Bar F Scout Ranch shower rooms

  • Updated
  • 0
David Nelson

David Nelson

David Lee Nelson, 39, of Redmond, Washington has been arrested in Missouri and charged with nine counts of invasion of privacy; two counts of first-degree promoting child pornography; and four counts of second-degree promoting child pornography after cameras were found in shower rooms at S Bar F Scout Ranch south of Farmington.

St. Francois County Sheriff Dan Bullock announced the filing of charges on Tuesday. Nelson's bond was set at $500,000 cash only.

According to the court documents, Nelson arrived at Camp Gamble at the S Bar F Scout Ranch south of Farmington on July 18 as a chaperone for a scout troop from St. Louis County.

On July 23, cameras were located in two of the bathroom/shower rooms located within Camp Gamble.

The probable cause statement filed in the case indicates that the cameras were located within the hand towel dispensers and were equipped with micro-SD cards and wi-fi capabilities.

The report states that a review of the cameras’ recorded footage showed numerous individuals in the state of both dress and undress while some performed sexual acts. Five juveniles and one adult were identified and three juvenile males have yet to be identified.

An adult woman was reportedly recorded in a state of undress while she used the shower. Additionally, the report states that a 15-year-old boy was recorded while he used the restroom.

Support Local Journalism

Your membership makes our reporting possible.

The report further states that two 13-year-old girls, in separate instances, were recorded in a state of undress that showed them changing clothes and using the restroom. Another 13-year-old girl and a 12-year-old girl were reportedly recorded inside the restroom while dressed. Other recordings reportedly showed explicit footage of three unknown male juveniles.

Nelson was identified from the camera footage. The man was located at a family member’s residence in St. Louis County and taken to the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department, where his identity was established as a resident of the State of Washington.

An investigation was initiated by the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department Detective Division which resulted in the charges being filed Tuesday.

The investigation is ongoing. According to a press release from the sheriff's department, three juvenile-aged white male victims have not been identified at this time.

Any persons who attended or had children attend Camp Gamble at the S Bar F Ranch between July 18 and July 23 and believe that they may be a victim are encouraged to contact Detective Sergeant Greg Adams at 573-756-3252 Ext 213 or Detective Lieutenant Matt Wampler at 573-756-3252 Ext 209.

The following Greater St. Louis Area Council troops have been identified as having campers present during the time frame: 661 Boy and Girl Troop, 281 Boy Troop, 51 Boy Troop, 66 Boy Troop, 680 Boy Troop, 371 Boy Troop, 11 Boy Troop, 407 Boy Troop, 434 Boy Troop, 150 Boy Troop, 352 Boy and Girl Troop, 662 Boy Troop, 8216 Boy and Girl Troop, 8357 Boy Troop, 8002 Boy and Girl Troop, 8001 Boy Troop, 98 Boy Troop, and 179 Boy Troop.

According to information from the Boy Scouts, the Greater St. Louis Area Council’s largest camp is S Bar F Scout Ranch, located in Knob Lick. At 5,200 acres, it is one of the largest scout camps in the country. It has been around since 1965.

S Bar F Ranch has four different camps on the property that operate simultaneously and they all sit on the 270-acre Nims Lake. Every summer they have as many as 6,000 campers.


Sign up for our Crime & Courts newsletter

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News