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Sex sting suspect worked with Cub Scouts, youth soccer team

A 29-year-old Bluffton man arrested last week in an Internet sex sting was involved with an area Cub Scout troop and coached Beaufort County youth soccer.

Edward Joseph Kestler confirmed Saturday that he had been the den leader of his son's Cub Scout troop and coached the boy's youth soccer team, but said he was not involved with his son's activities this year.

Kestler declined to discuss the details of his arrest on Monday for allegedly soliciting sex from an undercover Lexington County Sheriff's deputy who posed as an underage girl on the Internet. Investigators say Kestler arranged to meet the "girl" at a predetermined location in Lexington County and was arrested by deputies there and officers from the Town of Chapin Police Department upon arrival.

The age of the girl Kestler believed he was meeting was redacted by police from arrest warrants.

Kestler was charged with one count of criminal solicitation of a minor and one count of attempted criminal sexual conduct with a minor. He was released Wednesday from the Lexington County Detention Center on a $50,000 bond, according to the Lexington County Sheriff's Department.

He faces 10 to 20 years in prison if convicted. Kestler will be prosecuted by S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster's Office because the arrest was made in conjunction with McMaster's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The arrest was the task force's 178th since April 2004.

Attempts to contact officials from Beaufort County Parks and Leisure Services for details on Kestler's involvement with county youth soccer were unsuccessful Saturday.

County Administrator Gary Kubic said the county routinely performs background checks on volunteers and others involved with county youth sports programs.

An April 2007 arrest on assault and battery charges is Kestler's only prior arrest in Beaufort County, according to the county's online jail log.

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