A Sutton man who worked for more than two decades as a magician pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges that he engaged in “illicit sexual conduct” in Cambodia and transported video footage depicting child sexual abuse, prosecutors said.
Scott Jameson, 46, pleaded guilty in US District Court in Boston to charges of illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place and transportation of child pornography, Acting US Attorney Joshua S. Levy’s office said in a statement.
Sentencing was scheduled for March 7. Jameson’s lawyer declined to comment.
According to an FBI affidavit filed in the case, a nonprofit in Cambodia working to combat child sexual abuse alerted FBI personnel in that country in February 2022 that Jameson had engaged in inappropriate behavior and possible sexual exploitation of minors in Kratie, Cambodia.
That January, an employee of the nonprofit had seen Jameson at a local park with a woman and a boy of about 10, the affidavit said. The employee saw Jameson “purchase food for the boy, provide his phone to the boy, and then hug and caress the boy in a manner” that appeared inappropriate, the affidavit said.
The nonprofit interviewed several children about their interactions with Jameson and two boys, both around 11, reported that he would sleep between them in a pagoda, sometimes hugging and massaging them, the affidavit said. Both boys “denied any sexual abuse.”
In September 2022, the FBI learned from the US Customs and Border Patrol that Jameson had flown back to Cambodia, and authorities intercepted him when he returned to Logan International Airport in Boston on Oct. 19, 2022, according to the affidavit.
Officials seized his electronic devices and recovered a video clip of a boy under 10 being abused while in the presence of an older child, the document said.
In an interview with investigators, Jameson said he had worked as a magician for more than 20 years, mainly for audiences of children of “kindergarten age and up to the eighth grade,” according to the affidavit.
He initially said he films YouTube videos during his trips to Cambodia, including recordings about the daily activities of monks, and “likes to see how the people of Cambodia live,” the affidavit said. At first, he repeatedly denied possessing any “sexually inappropriate, nude, or graphic photos, images, or videos on his electronic devices” and also denied abusing children, the filing said.
But when an FBI agent and a State Police trooper showed him the illicit video they’d recovered from his electronics, he admitted to filming the boys, the filing said.
He said “the video was inappropriate and that he should not have done that,” according to the affidavit.
Further forensic examination of Jameson’s electronics turned up “approximately 100 images depicting apparent child pornography,” the affidavit said.
Travis Andersen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.