Try 1 month for $5

BLOOMINGTON — Officials with the Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal are "cooperating fully" with police after a volunteer working at the club to complete community service hours related to a criminal case was charged with raping a teenage girl.

Julius Scott, 23, is accused of criminal sexual assault and sexual abuse of a teenage girl. According to a prosecutor's statement presented at a weekend bond hearing, the alleged sexual assault occurred Nov. 16 at Sunnyside Park where the girl and a friend had gone following a club function.

Scott is accused of raping the girl after her friend left the park. He later admitted to police that he had engaged in sex with the girl, but denied forcing her, said the prosecutor's statement.

Scott expressed an interest in having a relationship with the minor girl in conversations the two had at the club, said the statement compiled by Assistant State's Attorney Jacob Harlow. In May, the girl told an interviewer with the McLean County Children's Advocacy Center that she rejected Scott's advances.     

Harlow said the investigation into Scott's alleged misconduct is ongoing.

In a statement issued Monday, Boys & Girls Club CEO Tony Morstatter said the agency is "deeply concerned and alarmed" by the allegations and is cooperating fully with Bloomington police in its investigation.

"The safety and protection of the children we serve is the number one priority of the Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal. Our organization is committed to the highest standards of ethical behavior and integrity and does not tolerate inappropriate or illegal activity on the part of any Club staff, volunteer or youth member," said the statement.

Scott's volunteer work at the club was part of his community service for a November 2017 domestic battery conviction.

He was ordered to complete 50 hours of public service and placed on 30 months' probation after he pleaded guilty to his second domestic battery charge in eight months. He was on 24 months' conditional discharge related to a March 2017 guilty plea to domestic battery when he was charged a second time for the same offense.     

McLean County has between 800 and 1,200 offenders looking for volunteer assignments at nonprofit organizations to fulfill their court-ordered community service obligations, said McLean County Court Services Director Cassy Taylor.

The current list where offenders can volunteer includes 25 private nonprofit groups and government entities. Probationers are not assigned to a specific site, but are given a list of places that have agreed to consider volunteers for placement. The organizations can set their own guidelines and conduct background checks.

The Boys & Girls Club conducts background checks of prospective staff and volunteers, said Morstatter.

The information provided to organizations by court services includes the current charge that led the person to a community service obligation. Information on prior convictions is limited to whether the offense was for arson, assault or a sex offense.

Scott remains jailed in lieu of posting $50,035 and has been ordered to avoid contact with anyone 18 or younger if he is released.

Contact Edith Brady-Lunny at (309) 820-3276. Follow her on Twitter: @pg_blunny

McLean County Courts Reporter

McLean County courts reporter for The Pantagraph.