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October 28, 2022

Former Bucks County D.A.R.E. officer pleads no contest to sexually assaulting 5 teenage boys

James Carey, 54, used his position as a Warminster Township police officer to take advantage of at-risk boys, prosecutors say

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Bucks County DARE Bill Oxford/Unsplash

James Carey, 54, pleaded no contest to sexually assaulting five teenage boys during his tenure as a police officer and D.A.R.E. officer in Warminster Township from 1989 to 2009. He will be sentenced in November, Bucks County prosecutors say.

A former Warminster Township police officer pleaded no contest to allegations of sexual assault against five teenage boys stemming from his time as a D.A.R.E. officer more than two decades ago, Bucks County prosecutors said Thursday. 

James Carey, 54, entered the plea just days before his trial was set to begin. His sentencing will be held in November. 

"I am relieved for the survivors of the defendant's abuse that he spared them the further turmoil having to testify against him would have caused each of them," said District Attorney Matt Weintraub. "Nevertheless, he must be made to pay a severe price for his extraordinary violation of trust. He abused his authority as a police officer to prey on the most vulnerable among us."

Carey "ingratiated himself into the lives of minor children" who were already experiencing major challenges in their lives, according to an 80-page grand jury filing that outlined the allegations against him. Some of the alleged sexual assaults occurred on camping trips and at a township recreation center in the Speedway section of Warminster, where Carey previously lived.

Prosecutors said Carey groomed the children and used his position to manipulate their adult caregivers. 

Carey was arrested in April 2021 following an investigation into allegations that he abused at least four boys while serving in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program. He initially was charged with 122 counts of involuntary deviant sexual intercourse and related offenses that allegedly occurred during his 20-year tenure with the Warminster police.

Following Cary's arrest, a fifth victim came forward, telling police that he was 13 when Carey sexually assaulted him.

On Thursday, Carey pleaded no contest to five counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault and corruption of minors, two counts of statutory rape and sexual assault, and one count of aggravated indecent assault. 

During a grand jury investigation, the victims, now in their 30s and 40s, testified that Carey repeatedly abused them, often while in uniform. 

The first — who filed a report with county detectives in 2020 — testified that he was in the township's recreation center when a uniformed Carey confronted him in the bathroom after finding a bag of marijuana. He testified that Carey groped him and forced him to perform a sex act during an invasive search that followed. 

He also testified that he was assaulted 3 to 5 more times while he was an eighth grade student at Log College Middle School, including once at his home while his parents were away. 

Others testified that Carey took a particular interest in them while they were young students, letting them drive his car, buying them gifts, and letting them stay in his home before sexually assaulting them. Carey also allegedly invited some of the boys into his home to play video games or spend time in his hot tub before groping and assaulting them. 

One of the boys reported his assault to the police in 2001, 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 department in 2006. Carey had been terminated for reasons unrelated to the allegations against him, and returned to the police department in late 2006, where he remained until his retirement in 2009. 

Carey worked as an officer for the Warminster Township Police Department from 1989 until 2009. While he was working with the D.A.R.E. program, he also ran the Fire Explorers program at the Warminster Township Fire Department and volunteered with local Boy Scouts.

Carey previously worked for the North Wales Police Department from June to August 1988 and the Warwick Township Police Department from July 1988 until May 1989. His sentencing was deferred for 30 to 45 days, and Carey could face a sentence of up to 189 years in prison.