A former Warminster Township police officer was sentenced to state prison on Tuesday for sexually assaulting five teenage boys while working as a D.A.R.E. officer more than two decades ago, Bucks County prosecutors said.
James Carey, 54, declined to comment during his sentencing hearing, even as his five victims took the stand to testify about the emotional damage and trauma they've endured as a result of the disgraced officer's abuse. Some of the men said that the assaults led to years of anger, resentment, substance abuse, incarceration and suicide attempts.
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Carey was sentenced to 24 1/2 to 55 years in state prison just five months after pleading no contest to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and corruption of minors, indecent assault, statutory rape, statutory sexual assault and related offenses. Judge Wallace H. Bateman, Jr. handed down the sentence, calling Carey a coward for not looking at the victim's faces during their testimonies.
"He ingratiated himself into the lives of his victims," said Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Schorn. "This is how he identified the most vulnerable among them, this is how he got away with perpetrating unimaginable sexual crimes upon children."
"It doesn't get much worse: When someone in a position of trust does what he did, it shakes the community to its core."
Carey's charges followed a lengthy grand jury investigation into allegations that he abused at least four boys while serving in the drug resistance program and working as a police officer from 1989 to 2009. He also worked as a volunteer firefighter and ran a program for at-risk youth at the township's recreation center.
After his arrest was publicized in 2021, a fifth victim came forward and said that Carey sexually assaulted him when he was 13 years old, resulting in additional charges.
In 2021, the victims, now in their 30s and 40s, testified that most of the assaults happened while Carey was in uniform.
One victim, who contacted the police in 2020, testified that he was first assaulted by Carey at the township recreation center after the former officer found a bag of marijuana. He also testified that he was assaulted three to five more times as an eighth grade student at Log College Middle School, including once in his home while his parents were away.
Others testified that Carey took particular interest in them when they were young students, letting them drive his car, buying them gifts and letting them stay in his home before sexually assaulting them.
One of the boys reported his assault to police while he was still a teenager, but no charges were filed. He reported the same incident again during a brief time when Carey was terminated from the Warminster Township Police Department in 2006. Carey had been terminated for reasons unrelated to the assaults, and returned to the police department in late 2006, where he remained until his retirement in 2009.
In addition to his sentence, Carey was also labeled a sexually violent predator. During his sentencing hearing, Bateman criticized the actions of police department during Carey's employment.
"When a young man goes into the police department to make a report I would expect a more professional response," he said.