The Liberal Democrats have admitted they were unaware a party activist had been charged with possessing indecent images of children and attempting to engage in sexual activity with a minor.
Roland Frankel, 61, of Theydon Park Road in Theydon Bois, is also accused of attempting to pay for sex with a girl aged between 13 and 15 on November 13.
As a former Lib Dem councillor he was elected to Epping Forest District Council in 2006 to represent Theydon Bois ward and is still listed as a member of the Lib Dem Focus Team in Epping.
The former scout leader was suspended by the Scout Association as soon as the charges were reported to them.
He now faces temporary suspension from the Liberal Democrat party at least until the criminal case has concluded.
A Lib Dem spokesman said the first the party heard about it was after yesterday’s report in the Guardian.
He added: “The party has been made aware of the issue. We will now consider what action is required.”
He added the party would not be able to comment further until the outcome of the court proceedings is known.
Theydon Bois parish council chairman John Philip, who presented the Villager of the Year award to Mr Frankel seven months after a police investigation began, said: “Roland was recognised by the Parish Council as a person who had contributed greatly to the village.
“There is no doubt that while we as a parish council deplore any illegality, all people are innocent until found guilty.
“In addition there were no suggestions of these issues prior to the nomination of Roland as Villager of the Year.
“When advised by Essex County Council of safeguarding issues we ensued that Mr Frankel was not involved with any parish council events.”
Mr Frankel is set to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on February 11.