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Sebastopol Cub Scout leader suspected of child sex


A Santa Rosa man was arraigned Thursday on seven felonies alleging sex crimes with a teenage boy.

Franklin Lee, 40, was the leader of Cub Scout Pack 128 in Sebastopol, although his alleged crimes are not thought to have involved the scout pack.

"I don't believe it was in his capacity as a scout leader," said Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Terry Anderson, head of the domestic violence and sex assault unit.

"At this point, all we know of is one victim," Anderson added.

Lee, who was arrested March 28 and is being held on $1 million bail, mostly stared at his lap while the court proceedings went forward Thursday. The charges include continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, oral copulation and sodomy with a child under 16. The criminal complaint also alleges Lee made child pornography with the victim over a four-year period and possessed child pornography.

The victim is a Santa Rosa resident and is now 17, prosecutors said. The alleged abuse took place from 2008 to 2012.

If convicted of all counts, Lee could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison, said prosecutor Chris Honigsberg.

"Certainly, based on the charges, we're looking at a severe crime spanning years," Honigsberg said outside the courtroom.

Santa Rosa police arrested Lee near his home off Yulupa Avenue, which they had staked out earlier in the day. He was arrested on the day the investigation began, Anderson said.

The scouting council was informed Wednesday and stripped Lee of his scouting involvement.

"We moved on it immediately," said Herb Williams, vice president of the Redwood Empire Council of Boy Scouts of America. "Our council has zero tolerance. The moment we found out, he was removed."

The council issued a statement Thursday saying Lee is "permanently banned from participating in scouting programs."

Cub Scout members range in age from 7 to 10 years old.

Lee had been registered with the council since 2010. In an interview posted on the Pack 128 website, he said he had been recruited to the post by a scoutmaster.

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