West Sussex scout leader charged with 23 sexual offences involving young children

A scout leader from Bognor Regis has been charged with voyeurism and sexual assault involving young children in West Sussex.

According to Sussex Police, 25-year-old Oliver Cooper, a student of Norfren Avenue in Bognor, appeared at Crawley Magistrates' Court today (January 29) to answer 22 charges of voyeurism and one charge of a sexual assault, all allegedly occurring in 2018.

The voyeurism charges relate to covert indecent filming of children under the age of ten and allegedly sexually assaulting a girl under the age of ten, police said.

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Cooper was sent for trial with a first appearance at Lewes Crown Court on February 12 and has been released on court bail in the meantime.

Sussex Police

The charges, authorised by the CPS, follow an investigation by detectives from the West Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit. The Scouts Association and West Sussex Childrens' Services were immediately informed of the allegations and have worked closely with police to ensure all necessary safeguarding precautions were taken, said police.

Police emphasised that the Scouts Association has given full co-operation throughout the investigation.

Parents of all children involved have been kept informed. There is no current safeguarding risk to any child, police said.