Ex-Warminster cop James Carey has changed his mind about plea in child sex abuse case

  • In US
  • 2022-12-02 03:00:56Z
  • By Bucks County Courier Times

A former Warminster police officer facing a minimum of 94 years in prison is seeking to withdraw his plea to charges that he sexually abused five boys starting in the 1990s.

Attorney Sara Webster, who represents James C. Carey filed paperwork Wednesday in Bucks County court to throw out his no contest plea to 20 counts of charges including statutory rape, statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault without consent, and indecent assault without consent.

Webster did not immediately return a call to her law office Thursday seeking comment on why Carey has changed his mind.

Former Warminster Police Officer James C.
Former Warminster Police Officer James C.  

Ex-Warminster cop entered plea Ex-Warminster police DARE officer pleads no contest to sexually abusing 5 boys in 1990s

Bucks County Judge Wallace Bateman Jr., who is overseeing the case, will hold a hearing on whether he will agree to withdraw the plea.  No hearing date was scheduled as of Thursday. Carey was scheduled to be sentenced on Monday, but that hearing has been canceled.

Bucks County First Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Schorn said Thursday she will oppose the request.  She did not know the reason Carey wants to withdraw his plea.

Carey, 54, of Cape May Courthouse, New Jersey, entered the plea at a hearing on Oct. 27, days before his trial was to start. He faced more than 100 counts of child sex abuse in a case that went before a Bucks County investigating grand jury last year, which recommended charging him.

A no contest plea is not an admission of guilt, but acknowledges that prosecutors have enough evidence to prove their case to a judge or jury.

Carey, who remains incarcerated, entered an open plea, meaning there is no negotiated sentencing deal in place. He faces the possibility of 94 to 185 years in prison, according to prosecutors, including a mandatory minimum sentence of five to 10 years based on guidelines.

Authorities believe that Carey sexually abused children he had contact with from 1989 until 2000.  Most of his crimes took place between 1991 and 1999.

The Warminster Police Department hired Carey in 1989. His duties included working as the D.A.R.E. officer at Log College Middle School, where he met and befriended his alleged victims, many who had difficult home situations and involvement with law enforcement, according to court documents.

Carey also took part in other community activities, including those hosted by the Warminster Fire Department, Warminster Recreation Center and the Boy Scouts of America, where he had contact with victims, prosecutors alleged.

Authorities contend that Carey used his position as a police officer to develop a close relationship with his victims, and gain their trust in order to take advantage of them sexually, prosecutors said.

Carey threatened his victims, who engaged in smoking pot and underage drinking, with arrest, and he warned them that no one would believe them, Schorn said. The men were also afraid that others would find out about the abuse.

His victims, who are now in their 30s and 40s, previously testified that some of the sexual abuse occurred while Carey was on duty and wearing his police uniform. At least two men claimed they were sexually assaulted in Carey's police cruiser.

Warminster and the Bucks County District Attorney's Office investigated Carey for allegations of inappropriate conduct with minors in 2001 and 2006, but did not have enough evidence to file criminal charges.

The investigation was reopened in 2020 after one of his victims reported the previous abuse to Warminster police.  The now 40-year-old man told authorities Carey sexually abused him a half dozen times starting when he was in eighth grade in 1997.

Warminster supervisors fired Carey in 2005 after an internal investigation found his conduct at the scene of a domestic call months earlier had violated "multiple" department policies. He was ordered rehired in 2006 after filing a grievance with the police union and binding arbitration found in his favor, but it does not appear he resumed working as an officer.

The supervisors quietly fired Carey a second time in 2007 after losing an appeal to overturn the arbitrator's decision, and township supervisors approved his retirement in 2009.

Bucks DA reviewing "concerning content" Will ex-Warminster cop face new charges in sex abuse case? 'Concerning content' on cell phone

Read about Warminster's secret deal Warminster couldn't fire troubled cop James Carey. So it offered him a secret retirement deal

This article originally appeared on Bucks County Courier Times: Ex-Warminster cop James Carey has a change of hear with no contest plea


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