The battle over the introduction of evidence in the criminal prosecution of former Scoutmaster Stephen Corcoran continues to unfold in the Morristown, New Jersey superior courts. Corcoran is a former Parsippany Boy Scout leader accused of sexually assaulting three Scouts in the 1990s and also possessing child pornography in 2011.
Last week, a 22-year old former Scout who helped break open the child pornography aspect of the case in 2011 – shortly after the first victim reported Corcoran’s sexual abuse of Scouts in the 1990s – emerged as a key figure in Corcoran’s criminal trial.
The ex-Scout informed authorities that Corcoran showed him child pornography while he and Corcoran were in a sexual relationship in 2011. Corcoran was not charged with a sex crime at the time because the former Scout was 18 years old and legally an adult; now, however, prosecutors are arguing that the child pornography charges and the abuse of the three former Scouts in the 1990s should be heard at the same time.
In response, the defense argued that “possession of child pornography in 2011 is ‘not related’ to sexual assaults between 1993 and 1999 and joining the two cases would be ‘highly prejudicial’ against Corcoran.” Corcoran also argued that the former Scout’s testimony regarding the child pornography should not be introduced as evidence because the former Scout was a “heroin addict whose judgment was too clouded for him to be a reliable witness.”
In deposition taken in connection with a currently pending civil case, Corcoran went one step further, alleging that the 22-year old “planted” the thumb drive full of child pornography at Corcoran’s residence. In the same deposition, Corcoran also “attributed motives” to the three victims who have come forward alleging sexual abuse, claiming that “one of them ‘wants money,’ another is ‘angry at the Scouts’ and the third is a ‘pathological liar[.]’”
The prosecutor, arguing in favor of introducing the evidence and joining the charges, countered that the young man’s use of drugs “did not come to light until almost two years later” and that the young man was “coherent and was able to provide details” when he spoke to detectives.
Previously, the judge in the case ruled in favor of allowing testimony about porn and alcohol, but not masturbation, on the basis that such activities were part and parcel of Corcoran’s “scheme to prepare and groom his victims.”
The decision of whether to join the abuse charges with the child pornography charges will be handed down soon.
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