CRESCO, Iowa — A former Boy Scout leader in north Iowa was arrested for allegedly sexually abusing minors in his troop for over a decade.

On Wednesday, James Hughes, 73, was taken into custody by officers with the Cresco Police Department and agents with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations on several warrants in connection to a sex abuse investigation.

According to the DCI, in March of 2021, the Cresco Police Department received a report that accused Hughes had sexually abused a Boy Scout troop member over several years while a leader in the Twin Rivers district.

During the investigation, DCI said detectives discovered multiple other instances where Hughes allegedly sexually abused other minor boy scouts who had been in his troop. According to the DCI, those instances spanned more than a decade.

According to court documents, Hughes was also a licensed physical therapist and Merit Badge Counselor. Hughes would sexually abuse the victims while performing unnecessary physicals at his private home, which he claimed were required in order to receive the Personal Fitness Merit Badge, court documents state.

Hughes has been charged with four counts of third-degree sexual abuse, and six counts of lascivious conduct with a minor. He is currently being held at the Howard County Jail on a $46,000 cash/surety bond.