Sex offender used fake name to gain access to kids' feet - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Sex offender used fake name to gain access to kids' feet

(NBC) – A previously convicted sex offender with an apparent foot fetish is accused of using an alias and helping to run youth football camps across Michigan and sexually abusing kids during camp off-hours.

Benjamin Walcott is charged with two counts of accosting a child for immoral purposes, and for violating student safety zone regulations. Michigan State Police officials have been investigating the case for two years.

Walcott, they said, used the alias Benjamin Albright and helped at football camps in Ottawa, Allegan and Ionia counties, and at least once on school property in Belding.

His identity was revealed when some parents of the football players could find no information about the football background of "Benjamin Albright" on the Internet.

Walcott used the alias to get around the sex offender registry and work at the camps, gaining access to the underage boys.

One parent of an out-of-state participant learned his true identity and alerted state police. Walcott's true identity was confirmed when officials ran his license plate.

Walcott, a quarterbacks coach, allegedly tricked the boys into using their bare feet to play with toys while he photographed and videotaped them.

The 28-year-old also touched the boys' feet and had them walk barefoot on his back.

Walcott allegedly told one family he was working with Under Armour to obtain scholarship money for their son based upon product testing that required careful measurement of the child's feet, but the scholarship didn't exist.

He is also accused of convincing boys to use their feet to play with toy cars under the guise of preparing for nonexistent toy-crushing competitions and what he called "memorization exercises."

Walcott was convicted of two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in Kent County in February 2002.

Around the same time period, parents say he coached a swimming class at Hudsonville High School and was a youth soccer coach and head umpire for the Georgetown Little League.

In November 2001, he took two 10-year-old boys out to dinner. Both were members of a Grandville-area soccer team Walcott coached, according to the original probable cause affidavit.

Walcott took the boys into a Circuit City parking lot and photographed their feet in various poses.

He had the boys rub their feet on a stuffed animal that he held against his genitals, the affidavit states. Walcott admitted doing this to other boys on other occasions.

In court, has admitted receiving sexual gratification from touching the feet of young boys and from watching the boys manipulate toys with their feet.

Before he was sentenced, members of the victims' families wrote letters to the judge, expressing concern that Walcott would one day do this again.

Parents describe Walcott as charismatic liar who found ways to get children alone, telling them he needed to test their feet for strength and agility, when he was really taking pictures to satisfy a sexual fetish.

Walcott completed probation in 2007.

He was arrested on the new charges on April 16. He was arraigned April 19 in Kent County, with his bond set at $50,000.

Walcott faces a 10-year felony for two counts of accosting, enticing or soliciting a child for immoral purposes.

More charges are forthcoming in Ionia County for one count of working within a student safety zone in violation of the Sex Offenders Registration Act, a one-year felony.

Copyright 2010 NBC. All rights reserved.

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