Since 2007, they said, Farrell has harassed and propositioned at least 13 boys and had sexual contact with at least five. State police, noting that other boys and their parents had refused to be questioned because of the nature of the crimes, said there could be additional victims.
Farrell has been charged with sexual assault, soliciting minors for sex, illegally using computers and cell phones to solicit sex, corrupting minors, unlawful contact with minors, indecent assault, and furnishing alcohol to minors.
When arrested Monday, Farrell was sleeping on the couch of his apartment with a 15-year-old boy, Zellis said. He was released after posting $200,000 bail. No one answered yesterday at the phone number listed for his address.
The investigation began more than a year ago, court records say, after the parents of one boy saw text messages Farrell had left for their son about oral sex.
Police said the boy was one of two whom Farrell had pursued in 2007 while working as a summer camp counselor at Camp Men-O-Lan in Milford Township. Farrell attended the camp as a teen and worked there as a counselor in 2006 and 2007.
None of the sexual contacts occurred at the 69-year-old camp, authorities said. "He not only used the camp as a fishing pond for his exploits," Zellis said, but he also frequented a number of popular teen attractions and pursued teen boys he met online.
His standard method was to proposition boys with brazen compliments and offers of oral sex, while trying to convince the youths that they were gay or bisexual. "His modus operandi was almost always the same," Zellis said.
"We've been saddened by this," said Bryan Smith, executive director of the camp. He said Farrell had been subjected to background checks and had provided at least three good references from people who were neither personal friends nor relatives.
"From what I know," Smith said, "he had very good recommendations."
Contact staff writer Larry King at 215-345-0446 or firstname.lastname@example.org.