HAZLET — An assistant scoutmaster is accused of exchanging sexually explicit messages with a young boy.

Joseph Palermo, 25, of Hazlet, a volunteer assistant scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts of America, was charged with third-degree endangering the welfare of a child after a joint investigation with Middletown Police, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said.

Gramiccioni did not disclose the name or location of Palermo's troop or if the boy was a scout. Scouts from both Hazlet and Middletown are in the Twin Lights District of the BSA's Monmouth Council.

A judge on Friday released Palermo and ordered him to have no unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 18, no contact with the boy, and to check in every two weeks with pretrial services.

He faces three to five years in prison if convicted.

Gramiccioni asked anyone with information about the case to call the Prosecutor's Office at 732-431-7160 ext. 7032.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ