Instructor at JCC Camps at Medford arrested for distribution, possession of child pornography

Stephen B. Gifford, 32, from Medford, was was charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a second-degree charge involved the distribution of child pornography and two third degree charges were for possession of the material.

A Medford man who worked at the JCC Camps at Medford was arrested at his home on Thursday and charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.

Stephen B. Gifford, 32, from Medford, was charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a second-degree charge for the distribution of child pornography and two third-degree charges for possession of child pornography.

Gifford was taken into custody at his residence on Thursday morning. During that time, law enforcement officials seized numerous digital storage devices. The devices contained pornographic images and videos of adult males engaged in sexual acts with underage females. Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office announced the arrest shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday.

Gifford worked as a ropes course instructor and maintenance worker at the JCC Camps at Medford, a summer camp run through the Katz JCC in Cherry Hill.

Katz JCC Marketing Director Stephanie Dworkin said the JCC is cooperating with local law enforcement in regard to the active investigation, but is not otherwise commenting on the case.

In the hours following the news, a number of parents flocked to the JCC Camps at Medford Facebook page expressing their concerns about their children’s safety.

Sharon Brophy, a parent who had two children attend the JCC Camps at Medford this summer, had a number of questions upon hearing the news.

“Did he walk around with his cell phone? Did he take pictures? Are my kids in these photos? I just wanted reassurance,” Brophy said.

Brophy said one of her children recognized Gifford from the photograph released to news media on Thursday.

“For him to be in such close contact, it was scary,” Brophy said. “It’s the reality of the way the world is now.”

Brophy said she and other parents received an email from the JCC Camps at Medford after 9 p.m. on Thursday evening stating the JCC was cooperating with authorities in the investigation.

According to the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, an investigation revealed that Gifford uploaded a pornographic image involving a child for others to access. The investigation originated from information received by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Gifford was lodged in the Burlington County Jail. Bail has been set at $100,000 with no 10 percent option.

Anyone with information about the defendant is asked to call the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office at (609) 265–5270.