24 Feb 2011

Latest Boy Scouts lawsuit alleges failure to protect boys from troop leader they knew was serial molester

The Oregonian - February 15, 2011

Alleging child abuse, Portland lawyers file another suit against the Boy Scouts

By Tom Hallman Jr., The Oregonian

Lawyers for a Portland man who claims he was continually abused during a seven-year period filed a $5.2 million lawsuit Tuesday against the Boy Scouts, saying the organization had plenty evidence that a troop leader was a serial child molester, but did nothing to keep him from harming others.

In the past month, the attorneys have filed suits similar to Tuesday's in Alaska, Kentucky and New Mexico on behalf of other alleged childhood victims. Kelly Clark, with the firm O'Donnell Clark & Crew, said this Portland case was particularly egregious.

"The abuse was serious and sustained," he said. "Of the 300 cases I've handled, I can't think of one where there was so much notice of danger."

Clark said the plaintiff -- now in his 30s and a member of the Armed Services -- was a member of Cub Scout Den No. 312, which was a part of the Boy Scout program.

He claims the plaintiff was sexually abused on "hundreds of occasions" from 1981 to 1988 by James F. Hogan, who served at various times as a Scout volunteer, assistant Scoutmaster and Scoutmaster.

Hogan's name came up in 2010 when a Portland jury awarded $18.5 million to punish the Boy Scouts for the abuse that a former Southeast Portland Scout suffered in the 1980s. The case was later settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. At the time, jurors considered more than 1,000 confidential Boy Scout files from 1965 to 1985 to judge the Scouts' liability.

In 1974, Boy Scout leaders confronted Hogan over reports he had been kissing and hugging boys he oversaw through a troop sponsored by the Portland Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The file recounted one formerly "enthusiastic" Scout's reaction to a meeting with Hogan.

The boy "took off his uniform and threw it and his books into the closet and has not taken them out to this day," the internal report said.

The file said Hogan had repeated questionable contact with Scouts, but the file contains no record that Boy Scouts reported him to police. They did ban Hogan from Scouting -- but only for a time. In 1981, church leaders asked that Hogan be reinstated because they concluded the earlier accusations against him weren't true.

The Boy Scouts relented and restored Hogan as a volunteer. Nine years later, they put him back on their list of banned volunteers after he abused two boys he met at the church and pleaded guilty to sodomy.

In a 2010 story, Hogan told The Oregonian in an e-mail that he didn't have much memory of how the Boy Scouts handled his case.

"I do take full responsibility for my actions and carry a heavy burden of pain, sorrow and regret both for those young men who have been injured and also for my wife, children and grandchildren who are re-injured each time these things are brought forth."

On Tuesday, attorney Paul Mones said the abuse occurred at a time when the Boy Scouts had "ample knowledge" of sex abuse by adult leaders. He said this case was just another instance where an institution failed to protect children under the institution's care.

Clark described the plaintiff as "emotionally shut down."

He said when another family member talked about allegedly being abused by Hogan, it reopened wounds and the plaintiff decided to file suit against the Boy Scouts to hold them accountable and "get to the bottom of this."

The suit names the Boy Scouts of America and the Cascade Pacific Council.

In a prepared statement, Deron Smith, a spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America, said that "abuse is – and has always been – unacceptable and the Boy Scouts of America extends its sympathies to the victims." Smith said Tuesday was the first he'd heard about the suit.

The statement also noted that the organization has "continued to develop and enhance efforts to protect youth through effective screening of volunteers, including local review and national criminal background checks, clear policies that prohibit one-on-one contact between adults and youth members and rigorous youth protection and abuse recognition training across our entire organization."

Clark said the Mormon church had previously reached a settlement with his client. If the case against the Scouts is not settled out of court, Clark said he expects the case to go before a Multnomah County jury sometime in 2012.

– Tom Hallman Jr.

-- Aimee Green contributed to this report

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The Oregonian  -  February 15, 2011

Portland attorneys once again sue on behalf of a victim allegedly abused as a child by a Southeast Portland Boy Scouts leader

By Aimee Green, The Oregonian 

Attorneys for a man who was molested by a Southeast Portland Boy Scout leader in the 1980s filed suit this morning, claiming that the Boy Scouts of America and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints failed to protect the man from abuse as a boy even though they knew his leader was a notorious pedophile.

The suit is another in a string of lawsuits filed by Portland attorneys Paul Mones and Kelly Clark. Last spring, they won a nearly $20 million verdict against the Boy Scouts for one childhood victim of former Scout leader Timur Dykes, before agreeing to a settlement for an undisclosed amount on behalf of that victim and five others. In the past month, the attorneys have filed suits similiar to today’s in Alaska, Kentucky and New Mexico on behalf of other alleged childhood victims.

In a news release this morning, Mones said the goal is to prevent future child abuse, as well as to obtain justice for victims.

The lawsuit doesn't list defendants by name, although a news release faults the Boy Scouts and the Mormon church. Steve English, an attorney for the church, said he doesn't think the church is a defendant.

“While the church always and absolutely condemns child abuse -- and its heart and prayers go out to any victim of child abuse -- our understanding is the church is not a defendant in this case,” English said.

Boy Scouts spokesman Deron Smith said in a written statement that the 101-year-old organization has been vigilant in taking measures to protect children by "effective screening of volunteers, including local review and national criminal background checks" and "policies that prohibit one-on-one contact between adults."

"Abuse is - and has always been - unacceptable," Smith wrote. "The Boy Scouts of America extends its sympathies to the victims."

Mones and Clark will hold a news conference at 1:30 p.m. to talk about more details of the suit, including the amount they are seeking.

The suit filed today claims that an unnamed man was abused by James F. Hogan, now 72, when the man was a boy from 1981 to 1988. Hogan was a leader in Cub Scout and Boy Scout troops chartered by a Mormon Church Ward in Southeast Portland.

The suit alleges that the Boy Scouts of America and the Mormon Church leadership knew Hogan had molested many children before he abused the plaintiff in today’s suit. According to the suit, the two organization received at least 17 separate complaints or reports over a 14-year period about concerns that Hogan was sexually inappropriate with boys while working with Mormon-chartered troops in Portland and Redlands, Calif. Among them was a complaint that Hogan had showered naked with boys, and that he had molested several boys, according to Mones and Clark.

"It is simply inconceivable," Clark was quoted as saying in a news release. "We will show that the abuse this boy suffered was entirely preventable. All the Boy Scouts or the Mormon Church had to do was pick up the phone and call the police. They heard over and over again that this man was sexually abusing young boys."

Hogan pleaded guilty in 1989 to sexually abusing a young relative and two boys he met through his position as a janitor. Two victims filed a civil suit against the church, which was settled.

In 2008, a Portland man sued Hogan claiming Hogan sexually abused him while employed by the church. The case was settled for an undisclosed amount.

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Cub Scout leader and religion teacher charged with child sex abuse, intent to rape, and kidnapping

Boy Scouts strip leadership role from gay father of 9 year-old cub scout, no gay or atheist leaders or members allowed


  1. Scout leader charged in boy's sex assault


    A 39-year-old man who led an outdoor program for Scouts Canada has been charged with the sexual exploitation and assault of a teenage boy in Winnipeg.

    According to police, a number of sexual offences were committed against the victim by the man, Stuart Garrett Young, between May 2009 and May 2011.

    The victim's age was not revealed. However, Scouts Canada said Young was with an outdoor program for kids between the ages of 14 and 17.

    Officials said the alleged incidents happened outside of organized activities. They have offered counselling to the victim and his family.

    The organization said Young, like all volunteers, underwent security checks every three years, most recently in 2009.

    He has volunteered with Scouts Canada for 14 years and has been suspended from the organization.

    A search warrant was executed Aug. 11 at a residence near Niakwa Road and St. Anne's Road, in the city's St. Vital neighbourhood, and Young was arrested without incident, police said.

    Police spokeswoman Const. Natalie Aitken said the parents of other children in the Scouts organization have been notified.

    Young has been released from police custody on a promise to appear in court in October.

    With files from The Canadian Press

  2. Scouts failed to stop sexual predator. Pedophile moved from troop to troop in B.C., California.

    by CBC News October 21, 2011

    Boy Scouts of America leaders knew for years about incidents involving a Canadian pedophile who preyed on boys in the U.S. but failed to stop him as he moved back to Canada, where he continued his abuse. The organization sometimes even helped him go undetected by authorities, an investigation by CBC-TV's The Fifth Estate and the Los Angeles Times has found.

    Scouts Canada learned of his inappropriate behaviour in the 1980s and kicked him out, but nearly a decade passed before police charged him with crimes. Throughout the 1970s and '80s, Richard Turley was involved with the Scouts across California and British Columbia, molesting at least eight scouts.

    "It was easy," the 58-year-old, who now lives in Alberta, says about how he used scouting to target his victims. "Kids were easily accessible."

    The CBC investigation, which can be seen in full Friday night on The Fifth Estate, http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/ catalogued nearly 80 cases in Canada, dating from the 1950s, where either active or former scout leaders committed crimes ranging from sexual assault to possession of child pornography. More than 300 children were abused by leaders while they were active in the movement.

    In 1975, Turley did what he describes as the “craziest, stupid, bizarre thing” he would ever do. California newspaper headlines from 1975 dubbed it a “wild abduction tale.” In a stolen single-engine Cessna, Turley kidnapped Ed Iris, an 11-year-old Nova Scotia boy living in La Puente, Calif., whom Turley had met while visiting a local scout troop.
    A day earlier, he'd shown up at Iris’s house, telling Ed’s mother he was “one of Canada’s top scouts leaders” and asking if he could show the boy around town.

    “He had badges all over the place,” says Iris, now 47 and living in Ontario. “He had his Canadian scouting book. It was impressive to a kid.” Turley took the boy on a fun-filled day in the San Diego area. That night, the two slept in a car inside Turley’s double sleeping bag covered in scouts merit patches, said Iris. Turley later admitted to molesting the boy, though Iris says he slept through it.

    In the morning, Turley stole a Cessna at a regional airport, vowing to take Ed back to Canada. With the plane low on fuel, though, Turley was soon forced to land. Turley, then 21, was arrested and later pleaded guilty to child stealing. At trial, a judge committed him to a state hospital as a “mentally disordered sex offender.” Police files obtained by The Fifth Estate and the Los Angeles Times show that Boy Scouts of America knew about the incident because they helped officers search for Iris and Turley.

    Though the Boy Scouts of America have a decades-old practice of creating “confidential files” recording individuals barred from the group for sex abuse allegations — a system aimed at preventing pedophiles from hopping from troop to troop — it appears no file was created on Turley at that time.

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    Put on list

    In November 1976, 18 months after Turley’s arrival at the Patton State Hospital, he was deemed well enough to be released. The judge ordered him to return to Canada and report for probation if he re-entered the U.S. Within a year, Turley returned to Southern California to work at a Boy Scout camp near San Diego, an hour's drive from the hospital. He spent the next three summers working for the camp.

    On the last day of camp in July 1979, Turley arranged to stay an extra night with three boys from the Orange County troop. All three were molested that night, according to a confidential file later created by the Boy Scouts of America.
    The next morning, one boy told his father, a scoutmaster, about the abuse. The camp director, John LaBare, confronted Turley and “he readily admitted what he had done, expressed concern for his actions, immediately packed and returned to Canada,” according to a letter in Turley’s U.S. “perversion file.” The camp, meanwhile, was told Turley had returned home due to family problems.

    Behind the scenes, camp officials requested that the Boy Scouts of America’s Texas-based national office create a “confidential file,” informally known as a “perversion file,” on Turley. “The parents of the three boys agreed not to press charges if he would leave, but are quite prepared to do so if they hear of his involvement with scouting,” Scouts executive Buford Hill wrote.

    Hill told the Los Angeles Times that he was following recommendations of the Boy Scouts of America at the time.

    “I don’t remember what we decided, other than we didn’t want this person on our staff,” Hill said. “Hopefully, he went back to Canada and that was their problem.”

    In a written statement to the Los Angeles Times, Boy Scouts of America stated that within 25 hours of learning of Turley's conduct, they expelled him. "In the 30 years since then, the BSA has continued to enhance its youth protection efforts as society has increased its understanding of the dangers children face," wrote spokesman Deron Smith.

    When Turley was shown the 1979 confidential U.S. file created by the Scouts on him, however, he shook his head in amazement that officials had not contacted police. “That probably would have put a stop to me years and years ago,” said Turley in an interview at an Alberta motel where he works as a manager and handyman. “And yet I went back to the Scouts again and again as a leader and offended against the boys until they came forward.”

    Others were shocked Turley even made it into the Scouts after his kidnapping conviction and commitment as a sex offender. “He should have never been there in the first place,” the scoutmaster whose son was allegedly molested by Turley told the Los Angeles Times.

    Though The Fifth Estate found documents showing that Scouts Canada and its American counterpart have traded information about pedophiles banned from their organizations, it appears the two did not share information about Turley. By August of 1979, Turley had returned to the Victoria area, and within a few years, he’d begun leading a local scouts troop.

    Court records show that Turley took scouts on camping trips once or twice a month, often luring boys to his tent by offering warmth or comfort. He used skinny-dipping as a pretense to molest boys and plied them with alcohol. In his Victoria home, stocked with ice cream, candy, alcohol and porn, he entertained an endless number of boys, including scouts. “He had an Atari and worked for a candy company and his cupboard was full of candy,” said Jason Davies, one of his victims. “This is where we wanted to go after Scouts.”

    While a Scouts Canada leader, Turley also organized trips to the U.S. with his troop and recalls filing paperwork with the Boy Scouts of America to have the visits approved.

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    Jean Buydens, a scouting supervisor, recalls hearing whispers about parties where Turley offered boys beer and camp outings where he shared tents with boys. “I was very suspicious of that,” says Buydens, adding she passed on what she heard.

    The Fifth Estate spoke to parents, victims and Scouts executives familiar with Turley and found no evidence executives called in the police to investigate. Turley says he was never contacted by police at that time. Scouts Canada said it won’t comment on specific cases. An assistant scoutmaster had also complained about Turley sharing his tent with boys, but the meddling assistant was moved to another troop, CBC News has learned.

    As rumours persisted in the mid-1980s, Scout House, the regional headquarters, asked Turley to resign. Scouts Canada added him to a “confidential list,” sources say. The exact date is unknown. “It should have been handled differently,” says Buydens. “I absolutely wish now that I had thought about going to police rather than Scout House, but I thought talking to Scout House would be enough.”

    In 1988, Turley sexually assaulted a child at a swimming pool. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and banned from associating with youth groups such as Scouts, YMCA and the Little League. It was not until 1995 that police began their first large-scale investigation into Turley – 16 years after the Boy Scouts of America created a “perversion file” and nearly a decade after its Canadian counterpart put him on their “confidential list.”

    In the end, it was not the Scouts organization that informed Saanich, B.C., police, but rather a suspicious girlfriend. Turley was convicted in 1996 of sexually abusing four boys, three of whom were scouts, but later admitted to having at least a dozen victims.

    During an undercover sting, Turley later admitted to an officer that being involved with the Scouts organization was a “good way to recruit young boys.” Turley served five years in prison and seven years of long-term supervised parole, which he completed in 2009.

    When The Fifth Estate and the Los Angeles Times tracked him down in Alberta earlier this year, Turley said his sexual impulses are now under control thanks to an intense sex-offender program he underwent. He’s no longer that “monster” moving from “troop to troop picking out people who I thought would be easy to offend against,” he said. “Rick Turley today is a caring loving person who just wants to stay below the radar.”

    But he added that he believes the very nature of Scouts made it an easy place to find targets. “If I look back at my own self, the availability, the trust that was involved with the parents at the time,” said Turley. “I was … the nice guy, who wanted to do everything.”

    Much in Scouts has changed since the 1970s and 1980s when Turley used the movement to find his victims. Since 1997, Scouts Canada has required police record checks, reference checks and a special screening interview for all adult volunteers and staff. The organization’s policies dictates that individuals accused of any sexual abuse are immediately suspended and then investigated, with information passed along to police and child protection authorities.

    Scouts Canada also has a stringent “two-deep rule” requiring that two fully screened, registered leaders be present with youth at all times. Turley recalls always having adult leaders present on his Scouts outings. “It didn’t stop anything,” he says.

    Seattle-based lawyer Tim Kosnoff, who has viewed the U.S. “perversion files,” says historically the U.S. Boy Scouts “routinely” chose not to notify police when aware of child molesters, instead noting them in their own secret files.
    Despite all the changes made to the Scouts organization, Turley maintains that “Scouting is still a flawed movement.” “If I was a parent, I would never put my kids in Scouts.”


    1. Rick Turley is a smooth talking manipulator who comes across as this really friendly and fun guy who really cares about you. He acts like he wants to help you with whatever is bugging you and he easily gets you to trust him. Fast forward and you are a kid who somehow finds yourself doing things you cant even bear to really think about after doing them and its friendly Rick Turley who you are doing these things with...well let me tell you its pretty hard to overcome the devastating feeling that comes along with being raped in the afternoon after a scouting event. Impressionable boys who lose their trust of male adult authority figures generally don't do well coping with things like high school the navy staying away from drugs etc. People like Rick Turley who is such a clever cunning piece of trash should be dealt with in the harshest ways possible because no punishment even begins to balance what he did. Rot in hell Rick

  5. Scouts Canada sex settlements kept secret

    CBC News October 24, 2011

    CBC News has learned that Scouts Canada has signed out-of-court confidentiality agreements with more than a dozen child sex-abuse victims in recent years, shielding the incidents from further media attention. In many of the agreements, a confidentiality clause prevents victims from revealing the amount paid or even the fact that there was a settlement. At least one bars a former boy scout from publicly divulging that the abuse took place. Scouts Canada has refused to disclose details about any of the settlements. Sources tell CBC News that some settlements were around $200,000. “An organization like Scouts has some advantages in trying to keep this quiet,” says Rob Talach, a London, Ont., -based lawyer. “Their core message and their core objective in society is a morally positive one.”

    CBC’s investigative unit searched civil court records across the country and found a total of 24 lawsuits filed against Scouts Canada since 1995. Of those, plaintiffs in 13 lawsuits have signed confidentiality agreements. In all the civil suits, plaintiffs accused the youth organization of failing in some way to protect them during incidents spanning the 1960s to ‘90s. Confidentiality agreements are common in the business world, but some people question their use when dealing with the sensitive topic of child sex abuse.

    “Scouts Canada has never in my particular case admitted any responsibility or ownership of the problem,” said one victim, who signed a confidentiality agreement and spoke on the condition of anonymity. “Scouts Canada was interested in minimizing the financial cost to them and to making sure that nobody else ever found out about it.”

    One plaintiff, whose confidentiality agreement forbade him from publicly revealing any details about the abuse, said the silence is difficult.
    “It’s extremely frustrating,” said the victim who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “And my real instincts in this are to get on a hill and just shout it out.” Opening up about the abuse felt like a “giant leap” off a cliff, he says, but it was followed by a cheque contingent on keeping it “a secret again for the rest of my life.”

    Other confidentiality agreements were less restrictive, but required that the victims not disclose the amount of the settlement or even its existence. Even those victims felt muzzled by the contract. “The fact that you’re not allowed to talk about it, you feel victimized again,” said Mark Johnston, who broke his agreement to speak about the settlement. “How can you make sure people are aware that this kind of stuff can happen if you don’t talk about it?” “If you remain totally silent, then it’s just going to happen again.” ...
    Seattle-based sex-abuse lawyer Tim Kosnoff says confidentiality agreements are designed with one aim in mind. “It’s about institutional protection,” said Kosnoff. “This is a multi-billion dollar institution. They have a powerful, valuable brand.” “[The Boy Scouts] just happen to be in the business of selling an image of wholesomeness and which the American public has accepted.”

    Kosnoff, who has represented clients alleging abuse by Scouts, the Catholic Church and other large organizations, says he won’t allow his clients to sign agreements with confidentiality clauses. “It’s the same immoral behavior led to the abuse in the first instance,” says Kosnoff. “They don’t want to help [victims], they want to silence them forever.” ...

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  6. Open up Scouts Canada’s pedophile list: B.C. sex-abuse victim

    CBC News October 24, 2011

    A British Columbia man whose scout leader molested him is furious that Scouts Canada won't tell the public how many of its leaders have sexually abused former scouts like himself. "I'd like to see the stats on how many victims in Canada there are due to the Boy Scouts," says the 52-year-old man, whose identity is protected by a publication ban.

    An investigation by CBC-TV’s The Fifth Estate found that since the 1950s, more than 300 children have been abused by scout leaders active in the Canadian movement. The investigative program unearthed proof that for decades Scouts Canada kept what they called a "confidential list" of pedophiles barred from its ranks, in an effort to prevent them from re-entering other troops.

    The youth organization says it records the names of suspended or terminated volunteer leaders, but says it doesn’t keep “secret lists” or “secret files.” Scouts Canada stresses that under current policy, it suspends individuals immediately upon hearing a complaint, then reports it to the police. “That is true now and, as far as we can determine, that is true of years past,” Scouts Canada spokesman John Petitti said in an email.

    The former B.C. scout says the organization didn’t do enough to protect him when he was being molested by his scout leader, John Roper, for over five years in the 1970s. Roper had already molested another boy scout in Burlington, Ont., nearly a decade earlier. Halton, Ont., police would later describe his assaults as a “carbon copy” of each other.

    “I still feel so ripped off,” the B.C. man says. “It wasn’t right. We should have been protected.” Roper, a British-born former civil servant, joined the scouting movement after moving to Canada in the 1950s. He admitted to having sexual relations with boys until 1985, at which time he says he began abstaining from sex.

    In 1997, Roper was convicted for sexually abusing the scout in B.C. He received a conditional sentence. Five years later, the former Ontario scout came forward about the earlier offences, leading to other charges that left Roper behind bars.

    The B.C. man questions how the Scouts didn’t clue into the sexual assaults. “They’re dealing with the safety of children,” he said. “They should know something about what was going on. And I think they let us down.”

    His abuse began in 1970, at the age of nine. It happened numerous times over the next five years, often on scouting trips and sleepovers, and only stopped when the boy’s family moved. The B.C. man recalls a time when the two made snowshoes from coat hangars and rope, then hiked at a nearby mountain to test the makeshift snowshoes out. When the scout became ill, Roper put him in a bed at a lodge to rest. “I fell asleep ‘cause I was running a fever and I felt sick,” the man said. “And I woke up and guess who’s there, doing things.”

    The B.C. sex-abuse victim sued Roper, forcing him to sell his east Vancouver house, which stood next to an elementary school. He filed a lawsuit in 1997 against the Boy Scouts of Canada, alleging the group bore some responsibility for the sex abuse, but later dropped the civil suit. The organization denied all the allegations made in the lawsuit.

    “They didn’t pay. They didn’t say they were sorry,” said the man. “They just covered their ass and ran.”

    Scouts Canada has refused to comment on specific cases.


  7. Boy Scouts failed to report abuser
    By Jason Felch & Kim Christensen, LA Times
    October 29, 2011

    Rick Turley was 18 when he learned that Scouting offered a unique opportunity to meet boys. He would show up in a uniform with a sash full of merit badges, charm parents with claims of being a "top" leader and offer to take their preteen boys out for a swim or drive. Then, often after plying them with alcohol, he would fondle or rape them — once going so far as to kidnap a boy in a stolen plane. Over nearly two decades, Turley molested at least 15 children in Southern California and British Columbia, most of whom he met through American and Canadian Scouting, a Los Angeles Times and Canadian Broadcasting Corp. investigation has found. Scouting officials on both sides of the border not only failed to stop him, but sometimes helped cover his tracks, according to confidential Scouting records, court files and interviews with victims, families and Scout leaders. At one point in 1979, Boy Scouts of America officials decided not to call police after Turley admitted molesting three Orange County boys, the organization's records show.

    "We were following exactly the national recommendations of the Boy Scouts of America and its board who set up the rules," said A. Buford Hill Jr., a former Orange County Scouting executive, in a recent interview. "You do not want to broadcast to the entire population that these things happen. You take care of it quietly and make sure it never happens again." But it did. Turley returned to British Columbia, signed on with Scouts Canada, which is separate from its U.S. counterpart, and continued his abuses for at least a decade. Turley, now 58, is still surprised at how often he got away with it. "It was easy," he said in an interview this month at the Alberta truck-stop motel where he now works.

    Turley is one of more than 5,000 suspected child molesters named in confidential files kept by the Boy Scouts of America. The documents — called the "perversion files" by the organization — include unsubstantiated tips as well as admissions of guilt. Those records have surfaced in recent years in lawsuits by former Scouts, accusing the group of failing to exclude known pedophiles, detect abuses or turn in offenders to the police. The Oregon Supreme Court is now weighing a request by newspapers, a wire service and broadcasters to open about 1,200 more files in the wake of a nearly $20-million judgment in a Portland sex abuse case last year.

    The Scouts' handling of sex-abuse allegations echoes that of the Catholic Church in the face of accusations against its priests, some attorneys say. "It's the same institutional reaction: scandal prevention," said Seattle attorney Timothy Kosnoff, who has filed seven suits in the last year by former Scouts but was not involved in the Oregon case.

    Current Boy Scouts of America officials declined to be interviewed and would not say how many files exist or what is in them. ... In the 1980s, the Boy Scouts began requiring that at least two adults be present for troop activities. The following decade, it mandated criminal background checks for staffers, a requirement that was expanded to the organization's nearly 1 million volunteers in 2008. Last year, it required child abuse prevention training as well. All suspicions of sexual misconduct must now be reported to police. Those measures would likely have stopped Turley had they been in place decades ago. Instead, the Scouts' national policy had long recommended keeping abuse and other misconduct a secret. ...

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  8. Vancouver scout leader facing sex charges was already suspended

    CBC News June 4, 2009

    A B.C. scout leader facing sex-assault charges was under suspension by the organization on an unrelated complaint when the charges were laid, an official says.

    Vancouver police said Thursday they arrested and charged Eddie Au, 34, of Richmond with sexual exploitation and assault. The charges stem from alleged incidents between November 2007 and April 2009 when Au is alleged to have had contact with a child in a sexual manner.

    "Our investigators will be working hard to follow up with the victim to establish a timeline as far as going back a number of years," Const. Lindsey Houghton said.

    "I wouldn't want to speculate but, depending on what evidence comes forward, there's a possibility of more charges."

    Police are asking anyone with information to contact them.

    Au, a volunteer for Scouts Canada in Vancouver for about 10 years, was "suspended back in April and it was due to another complaint we're currently investigating, which had nothing to do, whatsoever, with the charges the police have laid," said Susie Mackie, a communications specialist with the youth organization.

    "He's relieved of all his duties and all the rights and privileges of membership, and he cannot have any contact with the scouting youth at this time," she said, without offering details about the reason for Au's suspension.

    Police said Au has been released and is due back in court July 6.

    No other information about the alleged incidents, the scout troop involved or the number of alleged victims was released by police.


  9. Former B.C. scout leader charged with aiding suicide

    CBC News November 15, 2011

    A disgraced former B.C. scout leader is facing the rare charge of counselling and aiding someone to commit suicide.

    Eddie Kar Fai Au, 36, has been charged with one count each of counselling a person to commit suicide, aiding and abetting a person to commit suicide, assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm.

    Vancouver police Const. Lindsay Houghton said Au was a scout master at the time of the alleged offences, but said the alleged victim was not a member of Scouts Canada.

    "These are very rare charges," Houghton said.

    "In any case like this, it does take lot of courage for someone to come forward, and speak with investigators and really relate what happened and put a lot of trust in us, and we're very thankful that the person was able to come forward."

    Au is being held in custody and is scheduled to appear in B.C. Provincial Court on Nov. 21.

    He was arrested last week in connection with incidents that occurred over an 11-year period starting in March 1998.

    In April, Au pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting two boys. He concocted a fake Scouts Canada physical testing program to get victims alone.

    The organization's policies prohibit one-on-one contact between leaders and scouts.

    A judge sentenced Au to 18 months in prison, but he was released because of time spent in pretrial custody. He was on probation at the time of his arrest.


  10. Former boy scout leader charged with sexual assault

    CBC News July 18, 2007

    A former boy scout leader from Victoria, B.C., is facing three charges relating to the alleged sexual assault of a 10-year-old boy almost 15 years ago.

    "A substantial amount of potential evidence was located, including computers and computer data," Victoria police Chief Paul Battershill said Wednesday.

    Police allege the sexual assault took place at John Viszlai's home. Viszlai, a senior computer security analyst with the B.C. Ministry of Labour, was a scout leader from 1973 to 2001 and has provided computer support to Scouts Canada as a volunteer, police said.

    Suzie Mackie, a communications officer with Scouts Canada, told CBC News that Viszlai has not been involved with the organization since 2005 but was arrested at a scouting jamboree on the Sunshine coast just one week ago.

    "This individual was not there working for Scouts Canada," Mackie said. "He was brought in through a contractor and he was there to provide computer, technical help and was at the jamboree for two days and would not have interacted with any youth whatsoever."

    The 49-year-old has been charged with sexual assault, unlawful confinement and invitation to sexual touching. He was released on bail with conditions and is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 4.

    Viszlai has also been suspended from his job without pay while the B.C. government conducts its own investigation.

    "The employee was suspended without pay pending the results of a fact-finding investigation," Lori Wanamaker, the deputy labour minister, told CBC News. "This is standard government practice when someone has been charged with an offence."

    Wanamaker said Viszlai's job was to monitor the security of the government's computer network and he's been with the government for about five years.


  11. Former Scouts Canada leader from Victoria faces new sex-related charges

    CBC News January 2, 2008

    A former Scouts Canada volunteer from Victoria, B.C., is facing more sex-related charges after another victim came forward.

    The latest charges against John Viszlai include sexual assault and sexual touching.

    Viszlai was first arrested last summer while he was at a Scouts Canada jamboree on the Sunshine Coast.

    He was charged with unlawful confinement, sexual assault and invitation to sexual touching.

    The new charges came after Victoria police set up a confidential tip line seeking other complainants.

    Victoria police said all the allegations stem from Viszlai's role with the Scouts as a leader with the 11th Douglas troop in Victoria over the past 30 years.

    Police said Wednesday Viszlai was arrested last week and police searched his home, seizing computers and other potential evidence.

    Police said Viszlai has served with the Scouts in a technical capacity since 2001.


  12. More evidence emerges on Scouts Canada 'confidential list'

    CBC News November 17, 2011

    More details are emerging about a "confidential list" Scouts Canada kept over the course of numerous decades that documented pedophiles who entered its ranks, including a form that was used to bar them from re-entry.

    Scouts Canada CEO Janet Yale has stated that the youth organization doesn't keep records about suspected abuse or misbehavior by volunteer leaders, but does keep files "of a confidential nature" about those suspended or terminated.

    CBC News has obtained a form from a file dating from 1983 that was used by Scouts Canada to request that an individual be added to their "confidential list."

    Reasons listed on the form for a leader to be deemed “unacceptable” to the Boy Scouts of Canada are:

    Sexual perversion (deviation).


    Other gross misconduct.

    Any conduct which could prejudice or bring disrepute on the organization.

    Scouts Canada notes that the "sexual perversion" category not only pertained to sex abuse of children, but was also understood at the time to mean homosexuality and adultery.

    The form includes information such as the individual's name, last known address, height, weight, date of birth, other identifying marks and last known Scouts group.

    "As you would expect, we no longer invite scrutiny of such matters and they are not a credible basis for suspension or termination," said Scouts Canada spokesman John Petitti. "The current termination form uses different language."

    Once filled out, the confidential forms were sent to the Ottawa-based Scouts Canada national headquarters where a national review board determined whether to place an individual on the "confidential list," sources tell CBC News.

    The old 1983 confidential list form obtained by CBC News also states that the individual named is deemed "unsuitable for leadership" and references that "evidence" be enclosed.

    Scouts Canada stresses that "evidence" could refer to examples of any activity or conduct that might merit suspension, not just sexual abuse.

    Revelations that Scouts Canada collected evidence on suspected pedophiles has led to calls for the organization to share all of its documentation with police, in the event that some information might have been overlooked by the Scouts or authorities in the past.

    "It's not incumbent upon Scouts Canada to determine what the police need. That's the police's decision," said Jeff Filliter, a forensic investigator who used to work for the RCMP. "And providing all the documents is the easiest way to do that."

    Petitti says that the organization believes it shared all allegations of abuse with police.

    "To the best of our knowledge, there are no examples or evidence of sexual abuse allegations in our records that have not been shared previously with police," Petitti wrote in an email.

    Don Wright, founder of the counselling service B.C. Society for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse, says even though any records would be old, they may contain information to help possible victims.

    "It's important to the victims," said Wright. "If there are records of that in effect that back you up, it's very validating."

    If you have more information on this story, or other investigative tips, please email investigations@cbc.ca


  13. More needed to help Canadian men who have been sexually abused, experts say


    ... In fact, thousands of men across Canada —an estimated one in six — have been victims of sexual abuse before the age of 18. These men are haunted; some have uncontrollable fits of rage; and a disproportionate number of them are believed to be filling this country's prisons. But despite the toll such abuse has taken, victims and experts say there is still a lack of resources directed toward men, and that male victims face a unique stigma.

    "I've been in an emotional prison for 25 years, and I will be for the rest of my life — there's nothing that's going to change that," Jason Davies told Postmedia News. Like many young boys who are targets of sexual predators, Davies says he was quiet and shy as a youngster. He said he was vulnerable because his parents both struggled with alcohol abuse and he said they saw Richard Turley — Davies' Boy Scout leader — as a positive influence. In 1996, Turley was convicted of assaulting four boys, three of whom were Scouts, and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

    Speaking from his Vancouver home, Davies, who is now 37, said that from the age of seven, he was afraid every day. After five years of consistent sexual abuse, Davies ran away from home, at age 12, to live on the streets of Victoria. He stayed there for two years. Flashbacks of his abuse still haunt him. He's on daily medication for clinical depression. Sometimes, he has panic attacks twice a day. He says he can't trust anybody, "which makes it impossible to have relationships."

    Although research on the long term consequences of child sexual abuse on men is limited, experts agree many trends are clear. The majority of prison inmates across Canada have been physically or sexually abused, experts say.

    Many men and women turn to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain, or to stop the memories. For many, it can be difficult to hold down a job or to maintain intimate relationships. For men in particular, promiscuity, uncontrollable rage and aggressive behaviour are common coping mechanisms as they attempt to overcompensate for what they experience as the emasculating effect of sexual abuse at the hands of an older man, said Jim Hopper, a clinical instructor in psychology at Harvard Medical School, who has studied the long-term effects of sexual abuse on men.

    Many who suffer from mental illness, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, have a history of sexual abuse. And, the destruction doesn't stop in the mind. The body's immune system, the stress-response system and brain function are all damaged by trauma during childhood, Hopper said. "Relative to girls, boys are socialized to not be aware of, to not express, and to not have empathy for vulnerable emotions," said Hopper. "So, when you're abused, you're hit with these overwhelming emotions, and, as a male, you're conditioned not to be able to deal with them.

    "This makes it incredibly hard for them to report it, initially, and then to seek help," said Hopper who says that despite the obvious uphill battle, men who have had unwanted sexual experiences can heal with appropriate therapy. But, the road is long. And every victim's healing process is different. ...
    Today, while there are 39 centres for female victims of abuse in Ontario alone, there are only four agencies across Canada devoted to counselling men who have been victims of sexual abuse — The Men's Project in Ottawa, Criphase in Montreal, Victoria Men's Trauma Centre in B.C., and Vancouver's B.C. Society for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse. ...

    read the full article at:


  14. Scouts Canada CEO leaves organization

    CBC News November 21, 2011

    The executive commissioner and CEO of Scouts Canada has left the organization, CBC News has learned.

    In her letter of resignation, Janet Yale says her departure involves "philosophical differences" over the future direction of Scouts Canada that developed over months, and is not connected with a CBC News investigation that revealed Scouts Canada had signed out-of-court confidentiality agreements with more than a dozen child sex-abuse victims in recent years, shielding the incidents from media attention.

    In an email sent to CBC News, Steve Kent, the organization's chief commissioner and chair of its board of governors, confirmed the board had accepted Yale's resignation on the weekend, and wished to "convey our thanks and appreciation for the contribution Janet has made over the past year, a year that has seen Scouting in Canada undergo a major restructuring and transition."

    "I want to make it clear as Janet does in her letter [of resignation] that her decision to tender her resignation was in no way related to the recent media attention, and the staff continue to enjoy both my own and the board’s full support on this matter."

    CBC’s investigative unit searched civil court records across the country and found a total of 24 lawsuits filed against Scouts Canada since 1995. Of those, 13 included confidentiality agreements, some of which prevent victims from disclosing details of any financial settlement or even the fact that one exists.

    CBC also revealed Scouts Canada kept a "confidential list" of pedophiles within its ranks over the course of several decades. One form, dating from 1983 and used to request that an individual be added to the list, deemed several traits "unacceptable," including sexual perversion, immorality, other gross misconduct, or any conduct that could prejudice or bring disrepute to the organization.

    Yale has stated that the youth organization doesn't keep records about suspected abuse or misbehavior by volunteer leaders, but does keep files "of a confidential nature" about those suspended or terminated. In a letter to CBC she also said any reports of suspected abuse results in the immediate suspension of the individual in question before all information is handed over to the relevant police and child protection services.


  15. Scouts Canada apologizes to sex abuse victims

    By Amber Hildebrandt, CBC News December 8, 2011

    Scouts Canada issued a blanket apology Thursday to any former scouts who were sexually abused by its volunteer leaders.

    The youth organization also announced that it has hired an outside company to review its past records and appointed an expert panel to examine whether its current child protection policies are working.

    Steve Kent, the organization's chief commissioner, said in a video statement that the organization "sincerely and deeply" apologizes to any and all former scouts who suffered harm at the hands of leaders.

    "Our sincere efforts to prevent such crimes have not always succeeded," said Kent, who is also a Newfoundland politician. "We are sorry for that. We are saddened at any resulting harm."

    The announcement comes nearly two months after an investigation by CBC-TV's The Fifth Estate found that Scouts Canada kept a "confidential list" of pedophiles barred from the organization and also signed confidentiality agreements with child sex abuse victims.

    The investigation revealed that Scouts leaders abused about 340 children from the 1940s until present.

    'Too little, too late'
    Joey Day, who was abused by a leader in the early 1970s, says Scouts Canada's apology "isn't worth the effort."

    "Too little, too late," said Day, who lives in Edmonton. "I'm 50 and [the abuse] happened to me between the ages of seven and nine."

    Scouts Canada has hired consulting firm KPMG to conduct a "thorough, arms-length" review of all records held by Scouts Canada on the suspension or terminations of leaders related to abuse. The review is expected to be completed early in the New Year and the results will be made public.

    Day sees promise in that news.

    "That is a good thing," he said. "I'd like to see what they find. It just makes me sick to my stomach."

    Day was abused when he was a B.C. Cub Scout by Canadian pedophile Richard Turley. CBC's investigation discovered that Turley used the Scouts organization for years to find boys to molest in California and B.C. Boy Scouts of America agreed not to report him to police if he left their organization. He later assaulted boys in Canada where he continued to go unreported for years.

    Scouts review policy
    Scouts Canada is also reviewing its child protection policies to see if they can be strengthened.

    Peter Dudding, CEO of the Child Welfare League of Canada, has been asked to lead a third-party panel of experts on youth protection that will review the way the youth organization currently operates.

    "The panel will conduct a thorough and complete review of all our policies and procedures and make recommendations on any additional measures to ensure they meet today’s realities and, to the best of our ability, that they meet the needs of tomorrow," said Kent.

    Under current policies, Scouts Canada requires that its more than 20,000 volunteers undergo criminal record checks, reference checks and a screening interview designed to detect red flags.

    A "two-deep rule" requires that two screened, registered leaders be present with youth at all times.

    Scouts Canada policies state that any volunteer leader accused of sexual abuse must be immediately suspended. Police and child protection services are then notified of the complaint.

    In Kent’s statement, he vowed that the organization will confirm that policies are being followed and "ensure that no exceptions to our approach exist – even in historical examples."

    If you have more information on this story, or other investigative tips, please email investigations@cbc.ca.


  16. 350 Scouts Canada sex-abuse files under review

    By Amber Hildebrandt, CBC News December 9, 2011

    An outside company has begun the massive task of sifting through Scouts Canada records of suspected or alleged sex abuse, totalling about 350 cases since the 1940s, the organization says.

    In a wide-ranging interview with CBC News on Friday, Steve Kent, the youth organization's chief commissioner, revealed that consulting firm KPMG received the files as early as two weeks ago.

    The interview took place a day after Scouts Canada announced the external review of its confidential files, issued a blanket apology to former scouts who were sexually abused by its leaders and promised an expert panel would examine its child protection policies.

    In Friday's interview, Kent repeatedly reiterated the organization's apology to any members who came to harm.

    "I firmly believe that an apology is the right thing," Kent said in the interview with CBC's Diana Swain at Scouts Canada's national headquarters in Ottawa. "But that's just one step. It's important that we acknowledge how deeply sorry we are for any harm that's been done.

    "But beyond that we also need to ensure that we learn from whatever mistakes occurred in the past."

    Kent acknowledged that the apology was sparked by media scrutiny in recent months. An investigation by CBC-TV's The Fifth Estate that aired in October found that Scouts Canada kept a "confidential list" of pedophiles barred from the organization and discovered that Scout leaders abused more than 300 children over the past seven decades.

    The chief commissioner also addressed some victims' lingering concerns.

    Pressed on the controversial topic of confidentiality clauses contained in some of Scouts Canada's out-of-court settlements with child sex-abuse victims, Kent said the organization is willing to lift the secretive clauses where possible.

    Scouts Canada has been criticized for including conditions that barred victims from revealing the existence of settlements in many cases but went as far as to forbid any mention of the abuse. Some victims felt muzzled and confused by the agreements.

    However, Kent noted that factors such as the privacy of third parties may affect decisions about whether to fully lift confidentiality clause conditions. He encouraged victims to contact Scouts Canada to discuss the issue.

    "We don't want to prevent any of those people from telling their stories, if that's helpful in their healing, if they believe that that can help others then we want to do what we can to enable that," said Kent.

    Kent also said Scouts Canada's phone lines are open to sex-abuse victims if they'd like to talk about their experience. Counselling services are also available, he said.

    "We want to do whatever we can to support those victims and we encourage them to contact us," said Kent. "We want to do the right thing."

    If you have more information on this story, or other investigative tips, please email investigations@cbc.ca.


  17. Scouts Canada unhappy with 'Fifth Estate' story, says lawsuit could be an option


    ST. JOHN’S — Scouts Canada is keeping its options open when it comes to taking legal action against the CBC for a report alleging it kept a confidential list of suspected pedophiles within the organization.

    Chief commissioner Steve Kent denied the allegation again Friday, saying the organization feels elements of The Fifth Estate report, which aired a few weeks ago, were misleading.

    "The most unfortunate part is that some of the CBC coverage has left the impression that we’ve been hiding something," Kent said.

    In its report, CBC said Scouts Canada has engaged auditing company KPMG to investigate about 350 files of sex abuse cases dating back to the 1940s. It said a recent CBC investigation found 24 lawsuits filed against Scouts Canada since 1995.

    The CBC report also alleged the organization kept a “confidential list” of pedophiles.

    "Nothing could be further from the truth,” Kent told The Telegram. “And we’re hoping that by taking the steps that we’re taking ..., the public will see that we want to do what’s right and we want to ensure ... that our practices and policies and procedures continue to be leading edge when it comes to child and youth protection."

    Kent said the organization has asked KPMG’s forensic group to conduct a review of all Scouts Canada leadership suspensions or terminations related to abuse, and the results of the review will be made public next year.

    On Thursday, Scouts Canada posted a six-minute video on YouTube, in which Kent offered an apology to all former members who may have suffered abuse, saying, "Our sincere efforts to prevent such crimes have not always succeeded."

    The reaction to the video has been positive, Kent told The Telegram.

    "People appreciate the fact that the organization has done the right thing by offering a sincere apology to anybody who may have been harmed. In addition to that, I think people are really pleased to see that we don’t have anything to hide," he said.

    "We don’t have reports or suspicions of abuse that haven’t been shared with the appropriate authorities, and we want to do everything we can to assure the public that scouting is an incredibly safe place for kids to learn and grow and become better citizens."

    CBC also reported that Scouts Canada had signed more than a dozen out-of-court confidentiality agreements with alleged victims of sexual abuse. While the network said the Scouts had declined to disclose details about the settlements, Kent said this is due to legal regulations surrounding confidentiality, generally related to the identification of victims, not necessarily imposed by the organization.

    Scouts Canada welcomes any victim who wants to share their story to contact the organization to discuss it, Kent said.

    "I want to assure people that we want to do whatever we can to allow victims to share their stories, if, in fact, it would be helpful to them in their healing or if they feel it would be beneficial to others," he said.

    "We have to respect people’s right to privacy."

    Scouts Canada’s apology can be viewed online at bit.ly/sRPmGp.


  18. Scouts abuse victim speaks out

    Ontario man blasts confidentiality clauses

    CBC News December 18, 2011

    Scouts Canada's recent decision not to enforce confidentiality clauses signed with sex-assault victims could spark a conversation and help relieve some of the "shame and secrecy" many victims have been living with for years, says an Ontario man who says he was abused by a scout leader.

    But Terry Gillespie, who is making his identity public for the first time, says victims of sexual assault shouldn't have to deal with the limits of a confidentiality agreement if they want to speak about their experience.

    Gillespie grew up in Guelph, Ont., where he was a member of a local scout troop. He said he was repeatedly assaulted by his scout leader over the course of a year, beginning when he was 14.

    Decades later, when he was in his 40s, Gillespie confronted the organization about what had happened. He was offered money, conditional on his silence.

    "In a sense, you are revictimized," Gillespie, now 59, told CBC News. "You become the isolated person who has to not tell anybody what the most important thing in your life is."

    The confidentiality agreement didn't prevent Gillespie from going to authorities or telling his family, but he couldn't talk publicly about what happened. The existence of the deal and the facts of what happened to him were to be kept confidential.

    Gillespie had previously appeared on CBC's The National, but his figure was blacked out to conceal his identity.

    However, he agreed to speak out and reveal his identity after Scouts Canada's chief commissioner, Steve Kent, said last week the organization was willing to lift the confidentiality clauses contained in some of the out-of-court settlements reached with victims of abuse.

    'Freedom to speak as I wish'
    Gillespie said he never thought he would see the day he would be allowed to speak freely: "It means freedom to speak as I wish — should I choose to speak — or not speak."

    Kent said in an interview Scouts Canada wants to do "to the best extent possible what we can to allow victims to tell their stories."

    "There has been a victim who has told their story on one of your newscasts," Kent said. "We have not taken any action — we don’t intend to take any action."

    While Scouts Canada has committed to helping people who signed agreements get released from them, hurdles remain. For instance, Scouts Canada can't single-handedly lift the clause if there are third parties involved in the agreement.

    Scouts Canada told CBC News the organization has signed out-of-court settlements in more than two dozen cases, though not all of the cases involved confidentiality clauses.

    "I think the most important thing is, it's not just me, it's everyone," Gillespie said of the decision to allow victims to tell their stories.

    "That means there can be a conversation about this and about what it addresses, and that the secret part of the isolation — shame and secrecy — is not a factor anymore."

    Scouts Canada offered a sweeping apology Dec. 8 to former scouts who were sexually abused by leaders.

    The organization also said an expert panel would be brought in to examine its child-protection policies, and consulting firm KPMG has been brought in to comb through decades of records of suspected or alleged sex abuses.

    Gillespie said he would like to mount a campaign urging politicians to make it illegal to ask for a confidentiality clause in sexual-assault cases if the victim doesn't want it.

    He hasn't yet formed a firm plan of action, but he hopes to see change in how confidentiality agreements are used.

    "At a very basic level, children who have been abused should never have to face a piece of paper like that."


  19. Convicted leader continued with Scouts movement

    WARNING: Some language in this story may be considered offensive

    CBC News February 6, 2012

    A man who was twice-convicted of sex offences against children was welcomed as a member of a Scouts alumni association for decades, even after officials became aware of at least one of his convictions, a CBC News investigation has found.

    Even though the organization says there was no contact with youth, Scouts Canada, in a recent interview with the CBC, now admits it was a mistake.

    But a Lillooet, B.C., family that suffered damage caused by the abuse, says the acknowledgement gives them little solace.

    "I ended up doing nine prison sentences, and having drinking and drug and all those other problems," Christopher Jones told CBC News.

    Decades ago, in 1976, his Grade 4 teacher and Scout leader, Michael David Henley, began molesting him. Today, the 44-year-old can't say much about his abuser that isn't loaded with profanity.

    "He's a piece of shit, and ah, that's all I'm going to say, you guys don't have to play that, but … I would," says Jones.

    It took Jones, who was known as Christopher Aaron as a child, 10 years to tell anyone what Henley did to him.

    His mother, Gayle Moore, says the revelation came when she questioned her son on the phone while he was in rehab.

    "Were you molested as a child?" she asked her son.

    "I said, 'I've been through every relative, every friend, every person I can think of and he said to me – Mom that was all taken care of – you can thank Mike Henley for that.' And it was just like rockets went off in my head," Moore recalls.

    Henley eventually pleaded guilty to indecent assault and received a year's probation. In 1994, Moore wrote to Scouts officials to be certain they were aware of what happened.

    Moore says the letter she got back made her sick. Henley was still involved in Scouting as part of an adult alumni group for leaders called the Baden Powell Guild. The provincial commissioner wrote that Henley had no direct contact with youth, was undergoing counselling, and appeared determined to stay clear of situations that could result in a recurrence of his crime.

    After Henley was convicted of sex assaults against six boys in 1999, he stepped down from his position as editor of the Baden Powell Guild's newsletter, but returned as editor until 2005.

    Henley dismisses concern
    Now 60 and living in Burnaby, B.C., Henley claims he is no longer a member of the guild. He dismisses any concern.

    "That's an adult organization that has nothing to do with kids — it was all historical, the lawsuit was historical, it was all historical," he said.

    Steve Kent, chief commissioner for Scouts Canada, said Henley should not have been there at all.

    "Even though he did not have any contact with young people, that still doesn't excuse the fact that he's somebody obviously who is not permitted to be a member of Scouts Canada and therefore should not be permitted to be a member of the fellowship organization, even though it is an independent organization."

    That's something Gayle Moore has believed for years, while she lamented her son's spiral of self-destruction.

    "He was smart, funny, gorgeous, full of life — an active little boy," she said.

    "I don't understand it. It's absolutely appalling, and I don't understand it, and I'm outraged. I am outraged," says Moore.

    If you have any information on this story or other investigations, please contact investigations@cbc.ca.


  20. Scouts Canada admits not all past sexual abuse reported to police

    CBC News February 16, 2012

    Scouts Canada's chief commissioner, Steve Kent, says he now accepts that his organization did not report all allegations of sexual abuse to police in past decades, contrary to previous denials.

    The admission came in an interview with CBC’s The Fifth Estate as part of its ongoing investigation into how Scouts Canada dealt with past cases of sexual abuse.

    Kent was responding to revelations from CBC News that it appeared several cases were not handed over to the police.

    Three months ago, Kent posted a YouTube video insisting the organization had always gone to police. “Any information that Scouts Canada obtains related to abuse allegations is communicated to police," he said. "To our knowledge there has not been deviation from this policy by Scouts Canada.”

    Now Kent says he was wrong.

    Lost Boys
    The CBC's The Fifth Estate casts fresh doubt on Scouts Canada's claims about how it has dealt with those accused of preying on young boy scouts, and unearths cases not previously reported to police.

    The Lost Boys airs at 9 pm on CBC-TV and will be rebroadcast on CBC News Network.

    “My understanding has changed. There are indeed cases … where information was not brought to the authorities fast enough, and that is deeply troubling… I’ve actually instructed our staff to get in touch with the OPP [Ontario Provincial Police] to provide the information we do have.”

    In fact, a former chief executive officer of Scouts Canada, John Pettifer, told the program in brief telephone interview that it was not the expectation that Scouts go to the police.

    Pettifer, who is no longer with Scouts Canada, says things were different in 1977 when he was asked about an abuse case in that year.

    “In those days … probably just told [leader] to check it through locally and take whatever actions they felt necessary at the local level.”

    CBC first reported in October 2011 that Scouts Canada signed out-of-court confidentiality agreements with more than a dozen child sex-abuse victims in recent years.

    Scouts Canada has obligation

    In December 2011, Scouts Canada issued a blanket apology to former Scouts who were sexually abused by leaders.

    It also said at the time that Scouts Canada had 350 confidential files that they handed over, not to police, but to an accounting firm, KPMG, to do a forensic review.

    Kent told the CBC that he feels very strongly that Scouts Canada has an obligation to do what “we can today to make things right to whatever extent we can.”

    He has started to hand over old records to police despite the forensic review of cases that is ongoing.

    “There are horrible examples from the past. We’ve turned whatever records we have over to KPMG; we’ve turned some of those records where we couldn’t confirm police have been involved, we’ve already turned those records over to the police.”


  21. Scout leaders quietly removed, documents reveal

    CBC News February 17, 2012

    The CBC’s The Fifth Estate has uncovered details in two past sexual abuse cases handled by Scouts Canada that were never reported to police.

    Recently uncovered documents show that in 1978 scouting leaders in Brockville, Ont., suspected there “may be several undesirables who have been involved in Scouting and removed discreetly without their files being flagged.”

    CBC News learned the details of one of the new cases after a victim, Bill Van Asperen, asked Scouts Canada to break the confidentiality agreement in his civil suit against the Scouts in 2001.

    Van Asperen’s documents led the CBC to Greg Giles, whose tale of abuse was mistakenly included in Bill Van Asperen’s file.

    On the basis of these cases and several others documented by the CBC, the chief commissioner of Scouts Canada, Steve Kent, said on Thursday that despite previous denials, his organization now accepts that Scouts Canada did not report all allegations of abuse to the police in past decades.

    Ontario Provincial Police told CBC News on Friday that new allegations of past sexual abuse by Scout leaders are being investigated.

    The OPP won't comment on the status of the investigation or how many complainants may be involved.

    A lawyer in London, Ont., Rob Talach, says he expects a lot more cases to be uncovered.

    “There will be a number where the documentation that was created didn’t make it to the top. So we have to look at this as the tip of the iceberg on the overall problem.”

    CBC first reported in October 2011 that Scouts Canada signed out-of-court confidentiality agreements with more than a dozen child sex-abuse victims in recent years. Former Scouts said they felt muzzled and unable to get past the abuse since they could not talk about it.

    Former Scout Van Asperen, 47, says he can no longer live “in the grey zone anymore.”

    Van Asperen says he was especially upset when he watched Steve Kent say in December says that as far as the organization knew all allegations of sexual abuse were communicated to police.

    Van Asperen says that while he was initially pleased with the apology, at this point he was disgusted. “Yeah, well we know that’s not true. It’s just not true.”

    When he was finally able to speak after receiving permission from the Scouts, Van Asperen revealed that he was abused by an assistant Scout leader named John Brown, who, in 1978, invited some boys from the 8th troop over to watch a movie at his home in Brockville, Ont.

    Without warning Brown showed the boys a pornographic film and then suggested the boys could masturbate, and he exposed himself.

    “…And the hardest part as an adult looking back is as you know right now, there’s a lot of shame that goes with this type of coercion, and we don’t know it’s because we’re 13 years old and we’re being told by a guy who’s in his late 30s, if not his early 40s, that it’s OK, it’s normal,” says Van Asperen.

    Brown was named a dangerous offender in 1997 and died in prison in 2010.

    When Van Asperen, a cameraman with the CBC on disability, reviewed his files to prepare to discuss his case with the CBC, he retrieved a letter that showed that in 1978 the Scouts in Brockville suspected they had several pedophiles in their unit.

    continued in next comment...


  22. continued from previous comment:

    The letter says Brown and several other men from that area were “discreetly removed” by local Scouting officials.

    The letter further stated the men are “known child molesters” and pointed out that their names had not been added to the confidential files.

    Another boy in a Smiths Falls unit at the time was Greg Giles.

    “In my case, if they would’ve went to the police appropriately, all this wouldn’t have happened. So, obviously no, they didn’t respond appropriately, they were covering their own ass.”

    When Giles went to Prince Edward Island to a Scouting jamboree in 1977, another leader who had offered to go with the troop, Scouter John, came up to Giles, who was 14 at the time, and “asked me if he could have sex with me, oral sex and I said no.”

    Giles told another leader what happened and instead of going to police, Scouter John convinced them Giles was making it all up to get out of paying back some pocket money he owed.

    Giles was told to help Scouter John do yard work at his home. The abuse continued to the point where Giles had to barricade himself in the Scouting leader's kitchen. He escaped and took with him a note that Scouter John had given him asking for sexual favours.

    The Scouts then conducted their own handwriting analysis of the note and concluded weeks later that Giles had been seduced.

    “I guess it sounded better than molested back then but he seduced eight boys. They blackballed him from the organization, Scouts Canada.”

    Giles was not happy with the outcome.

    “I was thinking I’ve done the right thing. I’ve put a stop to this, only to hear that he was blackballed and everything was just brushed under the table.”

    It is believed that Scouter John died 10 or 15 years ago.

    Giles has decided to sue Scouts Canada for not believing him and not reporting Scouter John to the police.


  23. Boy Scouts sued in sexual abuse case

    By Kim Christensen, Los Angeles Times February 19, 2012

    The mother of a Santa Barbara County teenager says he was wronged twice — once by the 450-pound Boy Scout leader who sexually abused him in 2007, and then by a local Scouts executive who she says told her not to call police.

    "He said that wasn't necessary, because the Scouts do their own internal investigation," said the woman, whose name The Times is withholding to protect her son's identity. "I thought that was really weird.... I thought it was really important to call the sheriff right away."

    So she did, triggering an investigation of volunteer Scout leader Al Steven Stein, then 29, who was charged with abusing her 92-pound son and two other boys. In 2009, he pleaded no contest to felony child endangerment. He was put on probation but later went to prison after authorities found pictures of nude children on his cellphone data card.

    Stein's criminal case is closed. But its fallout is far from over for the boy, who is now 17 and, according to his mother, so traumatized by the ordeal that he seldom leaves the house.

    Nor is it over for the Boy Scouts of America, which is being sued by the boy's family for negligence in a case whose ramifications could reach well beyond Santa Barbara.

    The lawsuit contends the Scouts knew or should have known that Stein had put the boy at risk and cites the executive's reluctance to call police as evidence of an effort to conceal widespread sexual abuse.

    In addition to unspecified damages, the lawsuit seeks to force the Scouts to hand over thousands of confidential files detailing allegations of sexual abuse by Scout leaders and others around the nation. It contends the files will expose the Scouts' "culture of hidden sexual abuse" and its failure to warn boys, their parents and others about the "pedophilic wolves" who have long infiltrated one of America's oldest youth organizations.

    In January, after reviewing some of the files, a Santa Barbara Superior Court judge rejected the Scouts' argument that the documents are irrelevant to the lawsuit and ordered the organization to turn over the most recent 20 years' worth of records to the boy's lawyers by Feb. 24, with victims' names removed. The judge ordered the lawyers not to disclose the files publicly.

    Known as "ineligible volunteer files," the documents have been maintained since the 1920s and are intended to keep suspected molesters and others accused of misconduct out of Scouting. Scouts officials have steadfastly resisted releasing them and won't discuss their contents, citing the privacy rights of victims and the fact that many files are based on unproven allegations.

    They strenuously dispute that the files have been used to conceal sexual abuse.

    "These files exist solely to keep out individuals whose actions are inconsistent with the standards of Scouting, and Scouts are safer because of them," said Deron Smith, public relations director of Boy Scouts of America.

    Some of the estimated 5,000 files have surfaced in recent years as a result of lawsuits by former Scouts accusing the organization of failing to exclude known pedophiles, detect abuses and report offenders to police, allowing predators to remain at large.

    "They have created these ticking time bombs who are walking through society and nobody knows their identities except the Scouts," said Timothy Hale, one of the lawyers for the Santa Barbara County boy.

    The Oregon Supreme Court is considering a petition by media organizations in one case to release files for a 20-year period ending in 1985.

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    The Santa Barbara case is significant because it seeks to unlock files that have never been turned over by the Scouts, including all since 2005. It is also noteworthy because it alleges wrongdoing that took place relatively recently, even as the Scouts have stepped up protective efforts.

    According to the lawsuit, Stein had a history of inappropriate behavior with children he'd met through Scouting, including "making sexual jokes and comments" in front of Scouts and in some cases pulling down their pants. In November 2007, he abused the Santa Barbara County boy, who was 13 at the time.

    "Stein used his 450 pounds to pin the boy with sufficient force to cause bruising, ripped the boy's pants down to the point the boy suffered a laceration at his belt line, and then fondled the boy's genitals while commenting on them," the lawsuit states.

    When the boy told his mother about the abuse a few days later, she said, she called the Scouts' offices to report it and spoke with David Tate, then the Los Padres Council scout executive. She said Tate initially tried to talk her out of calling the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department and relented only when she insisted.

    Tate, now a top Scouts official in New York, declined to comment. Messages left for his lawyer and the Scouts' attorney in the lawsuit were fielded by Smith, who issued a prepared statement detailing the Scouts' efforts to curb sexual abuse.

    In the last decade, the organization has among other things expanded its sexual abuse prevention training and reporting. In 2010, the Scouts set a national policy requiring any suspicion of abuse to be immediately reported to law enforcement, Smith said.

    Before that, volunteers and professionals followed state laws on reporting abuse, Smith said. The California penal code lists youth organization administrators and employees as mandated reporters.

    In early 2008, Stein was charged with a felony, committing a lewd act upon a child, and two misdemeanors including child pornography for photographs he took of a boy's genitals. Two of the victims were Scouts; the third was the son of a family friend.

    Stein struck a deal to plead no contest to felony child endangerment and one misdemeanor. He was placed on five years' probation but violated it by having the photos of nude children on his cellphone card. He was sentenced to two years in prison but was paroled early and has been in no trouble since, said Steven Balash, his attorney in the criminal case and the lawsuit.

    Balash said Stein is "a sad case," living on Social Security disability payments in a Salinas motel with other sex offenders. He said that Stein is not a threat to anyone and that his crimes were relatively minor.

    "Al is probably at the way far end of having done anything serious," Balash said, questioning the merits of the civil suit. "I don't know where the damages are."

    But the boy's mother said her son has been deeply affected, in part because other families from the troop accused him of lying or "hallucinating" about the abuse. He refuses to go out in public and is now tutored at home, she said.

    "He's not the person he was before," she said.


  25. Former Scout Leader Faces Child Sex Abuse Charges

    By HILDA MUÑOZ, The Hartford Courant March 15, 2012

    NEW BRITAIN — A 33-year-old man arrested in January and accused of sexually abusing two underage boys over several years was an assistant Boy Scout leader who took advantage of the victims while checking for ticks during camping trips, according to a warrant for his arrest.

    Mark Alexander, 33, who co-owns a security company, allegedly sexually abused the boys multiple times between 2004 and 2008, when they were between the ages of 10 and 16, police said.

    Alexander appeared Thursday in Superior Court in a separate case in which he is accused of possessing child pornography.

    Although the cases are separate, it appears they are related.

    Alexander was arrested in January by New Britain police in connection with the alleged sexual abuse of the two boys. Digital evidence was seized from Alexander's home in Rocky Hill and analyzed, and child pornography, some of which included pictures of the victims in the New Britain case, was found, according to prosecutor Brett Salafia and court records.

    As a result, Alexander was arrested again by Rocky Hill police in February and charged with one count of possession of child pornography. On Thursday, he entered a not guilty plea to that count.

    "When the Rocky Hill case came in, it made the original case stronger," Salafia said in court on Thursday.

    Police said no one else has come forward.

    Steven Smith, an executive with the Boy Scouts of America — Connecticut Rivers Council, said Alexander has not been very active in the organization in the past four to five years.

    He said he found out about Alexander's arrest from newspaper articles.

    "Our first concern is the kids. We cooperated with the police we notified the police as soon as we found out he was arrested," Smith said.

    Alexander's membership was also revoked, he said.

    Alexander is under house arrest as a condition of his bond. His attorney, John Maxwell, argued in court Thursday to modify that so he can go to work at Elite Security Forces in Wethersfield, where he is a principal. Maxwell said Alexander would be responsible for office work and phone calls and would not participate in security work.

    Judge Hillary Strackbein denied that request, saying there is a risk Alexander would flee.

    "Why can't he do sales calls at home?" she asked.

    Police opened an investigation into the alleged abuse of the two boys in November 2011 after the boys and their families reported it.

    Alexander is scheduled to return to court May 2.


  26. Scouts File Appeal in Sex Abuse Case

    Youth Group Seeks to Block Order to Turn Over ‘Perversion Files’

    by BARNEY BRANTINGHAM Santa Barbara Independent April 26, 2012

    The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has asked a California appeal court to overrule a Santa Barbara judge who ordered the youth group to turn over files dating back to 1991 regarding suspected sexual activity.

    The case involves a Santa Barbara family suing the Scouts because a volunteer molested their 13-year-old son at a 2007 Christmas tree sale. The volunteer pleaded no contest to charges and later served a prison term.

    In its request to the Second District Court of Appeal in Ventura for an immediate stay, the BSA said the so-called “perversion files” are irrelevant to the case and that Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Donna Geck was wrong when she ordered the scout organization to turn over the thousands of pages of files by May 9.

    Tim Hale, attorney for the family, is seeking punitive damages against the BSA and says the secret files show a long history of keeping cases of molestation shielded from parents who have a right to know about possible dangers to their sons. Release of the files has “national implications,” Hale said. Hale already has nearly 2,000 such files, 1971-91, from another case.

    “Once again BSA is misleading a court in order to preserve its policy of secrecy regarding sexual abuse within the organization,” Hale said today. “The most glaring example of this is BSA’s stock PR statement that ‘youth protection is of paramount importance to scouting.’ If this statement were true, BSA would take immediate action to correct the dangerous situation it has created for today’s children …

    “The BSA should immediately report to law enforcement every BSA volunteer or employee accused of abuse who BSA has previously either failed to report or prevented from being reported to law enforcement.

    “BSA also should notify the public of its actions, and issue a press release identifying the name of the person they reported, the dates and locations of the suspected abuse, and the contact information for the law enforcement agency where each perp has been reported. This will arm parents, volunteers, and the public with information they use to protect their children from sexual abuse.”


  27. Former priest, boy scout leader faces more sex charge

    CBC News May 8, 2012

    The Ontario Provincial Police in northwestern Ontario have laid more charges against a former Anglican priest and boy scout leader for alleged sexual offences.

    Ralph Rowe, 72, will appear in court in Kenora, Ont., later this month. He's charged with five counts of sexual assault and two counts of indecent assault.

    The charges relate to incidents that occurred between 1973 and 1986 in the First Nations communities of Fort Severn, Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, Wunnumin Lake and Kingfisher Lake.

    Rowe has already been convicted of more than 50 counts of sex-related crimes that occurred in the 1970s and 80s, when he travelled to various First Nations in Manitoba and northern Ontario to conduct church services and organize youth events – including scout outings.

    Rowe was convicted in 1988 of 10 counts of sexual abuse relating to his time in Split Lake. In 1994, Rowe pleaded guilty to 29 sex-related crimes involving 16 victims and received a six-year sentence. He served four-and-a half years.

    In 2007 and 2009, he was found guilty of similar charges.

    He currently lives in Surrey, B.C. RCMP served a summons for him to appear in the Ontario Court of Justice in Kenora on May 31.

    There have also been civil cases related to Rowe. In October 2011, CBC learned that at least two lawsuits against Scouts Canada related to Rowe were settled out of court.

    The two Rowe lawsuits were among more than a dozen civil cases against Scouts Canada where out-of court settlements involved confidentiality clauses.

    In the Rowe case, the clause didn't bar victims from speaking out about the abuse they suffered, but it did not allow them to discuss the amount of compensation they received in the settlement.

    In December 2011, Scouts Canada chief commissioner Steve Kent said the organization was willing to lift the confidentiality clauses found in some of the out-of-court settlements.

    Kent, who has not yet reviewed the new charges, said Rowe "abused his community status to gain entry into and then betray the values of Scouts Canada."

    Kent said Rowe was suspended and terminated from Scouts Canada after charges were first laid against him in the late 1980s.

    "Scouts Canada participated fully in the police investigations into Rowe’s activities and provided all records relating to his Scouting activities, and we will of course support the investigation at this time in any way we can," Kent said in an email Tuesday.


  28. Court orders Boy Scouts to release sexual abuse files

    By Kim Christensen and Jason Felch, Los Angeles Times June 14, 2012

    The Oregon Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the release of 1,247 confidential Boy Scouts of America files, the first step toward publicly lifting the veil on 20 years of alleged child sexual abuse by troop leaders and others within the organization.

    Also known as the "ineligible volunteer" or "perversion" files, the 20,000 pages ordered to be unsealed span two decades beginning in 1965, a portion of such records the Scouts have kept under lock and key since the 1920s.

    The files played a key role as evidence in a landmark Oregon lawsuit in 2010 that resulted in the largest judgment ever against the Scouts in a molestation case. A jury awarded nearly $20 million to a man who was molested by an assistant scoutmaster in the early 1980s, ruling that the Scouts had failed to protect him.

    Afterward, the Boy Scouts petitioned to keep the files closed, a move opposed by media outlets seeking their full disclosure. On Thursday, the Oregon Supreme Court sided with the Oregonian newspaper, the Associated Press, the New York Times, Oregon Public Broadcasting and other outlets.

    The court ordered that the files be made public after names of victims and others who reported sexual abuse are redacted. That process is expected to take weeks, according to Portland attorney Charles Hinkle, who represented the media outlets.

    Hinkle said he was pleased with the release of the files, but troubled by some aspects of the court's ruling, which held that the public did not have a right to see all evidence presented at trial.

    The effect of that part of the ruling is that "courts can make decisions based on secret evidence, and that's a mistake," he said in an interview. "Our position was that whatever evidence was before the court should be available to the public."

    The Scouts' confidential files detail incidents and allegations of sexual abuse and are intended to keep molesters out of the organization. Scouts officials have long contended that the records must be kept confidential to protect the privacy of victims and those who report sexual abuse, as well as those who face unproved accusations.

    In a statement Thursday, the organization said it respected the court's decision, but even with redactions, the release of the files could have a chilling effect on the reporting of abuse. Scouts Chief Executive Robert Mazzuca posted a Web video statement explaining the organization's position.

    "We've kept these files confidential because we believe that victims deserve protection and that confidentiality encourages prompt reporting of questionable behavior," he said. "It removes the fear of retribution and assures the victims and their families that they receive the privacy that they deserve."

    Mazzuca also acknowledged, however, that the files had not always succeeded in preventing abuse.

    "We have a long history of incorporating new, best practices into our youth protection program," he said. "But unfortunately, there have still been times when the best practices of the time were insufficient, and for that we're deeply sorry."

    Victims rights advocates, plaintiffs' lawyers and others who have sought to make the files public contend that they have been used to keep secret widespread sexual abuse within one of America's oldest youth organizations. Some of them hailed the decision as a major step forward in dealing with child sexual abuse.

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    Paul Mones, one of the plaintiff's lawyers in the 2010 case, said the vast majority of molested Scouts have never reported the abuse. Although the organization has made "great strides" in protecting boys in recent years, he said, its history of widespread sexual abuse should not be buried.

    "These kids were raped, these kids were sodomized," he said. "Many of them were molested for months and years. Many had devastating physical injuries and they remained silent. These files represent opening a window on that tragic period of time."

    In the Portland lawsuit, former Scout Kerry Lewis said the organization failed to protect him as a 12-year-old from a known molester. The judge allowed into evidence the 1,247 files, including those covering Lewis' time in the Scouts.

    Similar suits seeking access to the files are pending around the country. In Santa Barbara, lawyers for a former Scout, who was 13 when a volunteer leader allegedly abused him in 2007, are seeking access to confidential files, contending they will expose a "culture of hidden sexual abuse" in the organization and its failure to adequately warn boys and their parents.

    A Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge ordered that files dating from 1991 to the present be turned over to the boy's lawyers but not made public. The Scouts have asked California's 2nd District Court of Appeal to reverse the decision.

    Tim Hale, one of the boy's lawyers, said the Oregon decision was not binding on the California appellate judges, but that he hoped they considered it in reaching a decision.

    Frank Bartlett, a Connecticut plaintiff's attorney who is seeking access to confidential files for four pending lawsuits, said the decision was "a great precedent" for his cases. In one, the Boy Scouts of America allegedly was aware that a scoutmaster accused of sexually abusing a young Scout had acted inappropriately with Scouts three previous times, according to court records.

    "The more information the public has about what has happened in the past and what to look for, the better we can protect our youth," Bartlett said.


  30. Scouts Canada did not report abuse in up to 82% of cases

    CBC News June 25, 2012

    A review of how Scouts Canada handled allegations of sexual abuse by its group leaders has found that in up to 82 per cent of cases that were first reported to the organization, it did not alert police.

    Despite past assurances by Scouts Canada that it had informed police about "every record of abuse" within its ranks, the audit has found at least 65 instances where that did not happen.

    Thirteen of those cases occurred after 1992, when the organization's policies changed to make it mandatory to report abuse. In a further 64 files, it was unclear whether information was shared with police, according to an independent review that the Scouts released Monday.

    All those cases have now been reported to authorities, Scouts Canada assured.

    Overall, Scouts Canada had auditing firm KPMG examine 486 records from 1947 to 2011 where adult scouting leaders were suspended or terminated on allegations of sexual misconduct against children and youth. The final tally found that in 328 cases, "authorities appear to have been aware of the situation before it came to the attention of Scouts."

    Of the remaining 158 files, there is only evidence in 29 that the Scouts contacted authorities at the time.

    CBC investigation prompted audit
    Scouts Canada ordered the forensic review of its suspension and termination records following CBC's Fifth Estate investigation into how the organization dealt with past cases of sexual abuse.

    Scouts Canada's chief commissioner, Steve Kent, said the review "found no systemic intent to cover up or hide incidents of abuse," though it did uncover cases where the youth organization did not handle incidents "with the rigour we would expect."

    "Bad things happened in the past in many organizations. Scouts Canada, unfortunately, is no exception," Kent said. "We invested considerable time and money to ensure that no stone was left unturned."

    In response, lawyer Rob Talach of London, Ont., who has represented victims of childhood abuse, said the KPMG report was "simply a documentary review" and it would be "bold" to draw conclusions about whether there was a coverup.

    "Motives, intent, the reasons behind doing things are often not extracted until you get to interview the players involved. Reviewing the documents and the information they contained isn’t a solid enough foundation to exonerate yourself as an institution," Talach said.

    "I think the more shocking number is, if you look at the cases when the police didn’t come to the Scouts first, their rate of reporting when they were the first to learn is only about 18 per cent. That tells that there was a systemic or cultural or institutional-wide resistance to report."

    Kent acknowledged that the rate of cases that went unreported to authorities is "not a number that I'm particularly happy with."

    "Any instances where things were not reported to authorities in a timely fashion — any instances are unacceptable," he said Monday.

    But he added that the lapses didn't stem from malice.

    "We found examples of individuals being unsure of how to report abuse, or whether it was necessary to report. In some cases, an offence was thought to be inappropriate for a Scouts leader, but not necessarily criminal in nature, and therefore did not require reporting to authorities," Kent said.

    "In other cases, particularly in earlier decades, a victim’s parents would not agree to report to the authorities."

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    The KPMG review also found that in 14 instances, someone who was kicked out of the Scouts for sexual misconduct was allowed to continue to partake in the organization's activities. Three of those cases occurred after the rules changed in 1992. KPMG blamed some of those errors on a failure to inscribe the expelled volunteers' names on a central list that Scouts maintained.

    New policies
    In conjunction with the forensic review, Scouts Canada unveiled an updated framework for child and youth protection on Monday. Elements include new policies on bullying, abuse reporting and screening of volunteers. The organization said one of the steps it will take is to flag anyone who doesn't complete its volunteer screening in its central database so that they can't partake in any scouting activities.

    In 2011, The Fifth Estate, in a co-investigation with the Los Angeles Times, looked at Scouts Canada's controversial system for recording the names of pedophiles who had infiltrated its ranks and had been removed from the organization. It was known as the "confidential list." The investigation followed a public legal battle involving the Boy Scouts of America, which paid out millions in legal settlements.

    CBC first reported in October 2011 that Scouts Canada signed out-of-court confidentiality agreements with more than a dozen child sex-abuse victims in recent years.

    Two months later, Scouts Canada issued a blanket apology to former scouts who were sexually abused by leaders. It also said at the time that it had 350 confidential files that it turned over, not to police, but to KPMG for its forensic review. The organization subsequently found 136 more dossiers that it handed to KPMG.

    However, the apology maintained "that every record of abuse has been handled properly and shared with police."

    In February, Scouts Canada's Kent acknowledged that his organization did not report all allegations of sexual abuse to police in past decades, contrary to its previous denials.

    Meanwhile, earlier this month, an Oregon court approved the release of so-called perversion files compiled by the Boy Scouts of America on suspected child molesters within the organization over two decades, giving the public its first chance to review the files on 1,200 people.

    The files, gathered from 1965 to 1985, came to light when they were used as evidence in a landmark Oregon ruling in 2010 that the Boy Scouts of America had failed to protect a plaintiff who had been molested by an assistant scoutmaster in the early 1980s. The U.S. scouting organization was ordered to pay the man $18.5 million US.


  32. Scouts abuse review shows need for oversight, lawyer says

    By Mary Sheppard, CBC News June 26, 2012

    A lawyer who represents childhood abuse victims says individuals who failed to report sexual abuse inside Scouts Canada should be held accountable.

    Robert Talach, a London, Ont. lawyer, says that the review commissioned by Scouts Canada of its sex abuse confidential files is a step in the right direction, but the public still does not know who inside the organization made the decisions not to report cases to the authorities.

    He says it is possible some people inside Scouts Canada “placed the reputation of the organization above the plight of the individual.”

    Talach points out that in the KPMG report there’s a reference to a policy suggesting that when terminating membership, staff should consider handling it at the provincial level rather than send it to the national office.

    He noted that there were at least 65 new cases not reported to the police and 13 of those were after 1992, when it became mandatory to report such abuse.

    The new cases surfaced Monday when Scouts Canada released the findings of a review of hundreds of confidential files on leaders who were thrown out over abuse allegations.

    Talach points out that one of the ways to prevent childhood sexual abuse is to examine “how, institutionally, this happened.” He feels this was not done as part of the KPMG review.

    Scouts tighten record keeping
    Scouts Canada says it has tightened the rules around record keeping, made it clear police have to be called when someone alleges abuse, and is taking steps to better screen those who come into contact with young scouts. Leaders will also receive better compulsory training.

    Talach wonders if a 90-minute online training session that the Scouts announced is enough. “I think it demands a little more attention.”

    He also worries that police screening may provide a false sense of security. “All police screening says is that this person hasn’t been caught yet.”

    Talach would like to see “more teeth” in Canada’s child protection legislation.

    “There’s a bigger fine for pirating videos than for not reporting child sexual abuse.” He says the various governments have to take up the cause of child abuse and consider an agency to handle current and historical cases of child abuse.

    But most important, Talach says, is that everyone, especially organizations like Scouts Canada, needs to stay constantly on guard.

    “An organization that deals with that many children will in perpetuity, be attracting sex offenders … you have to be eternally vigilant.”


  33. Boy Scouts Of America Reaffirm Gay Ban

    by David Crary, AP July 17, 2012

    NEW YORK — After a confidential two-year review, the Boy Scouts of America on Tuesday emphatically reaffirmed its policy of excluding gays, angering critics who hoped that relentless protest campaigns might lead to change.

    The Scouts cited support from parents as a key reason for keeping the policy and expressed hope that the prolonged debate over it might now subside. Bitter reactions from gay-rights activists suggested that result was unlikely.

    The Scouts' national spokesman, Deron Smith, told The Associated Press that an 11-member special committee, formed discreetly by top Scout leaders in 2010, came to the conclusion that the exclusion policy "is absolutely the best policy" for the 102-year-old organization.

    Smith said the committee, comprised of professional scout executives and adult volunteers, was unanimous in its conclusion – preserving a long-standing policy that was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 and has remained controversial ever since.

    As a result of the committee's decision, the Scouts' national executive board will take no further action on a resolution submitted at its recent national conference asking for reconsideration of the membership policy.

    The Scouts' chief executive, Bob Mazzuca, contended that most Scout families support the policy, which applies to both adult leaders and Scouts.

    "The vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers and at the appropriate time and in the right setting," Mazzuca said. "We fully understand that no single policy will accommodate the many diverse views among our membership or society."

    The president of the largest U.S. gay-rights group, Chad Griffin of the Human Rights Campaign, depicted the Scouts' decision as "a missed opportunity of colossal proportions."

    "With the country moving toward inclusion, the leaders of the Boy Scouts of America have instead sent a message to young people that only some of them are valued," he said. "They've chosen to teach division and intolerance."

    Darlene Nipper, deputy executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, said the Scouts "have turned their backs on a chance to demonstrate fairness, exercise sound judgment, and serve as a role model for valuing others."

    The Scouts did not identify the members of the special committee that studied the issue, but said in a statement that they represented "a diversity of perspectives and opinions."

    "The review included forthright and candid conversation and extensive research and evaluations – both from within Scouting and from outside of the organization," the statement said.

    The announcement suggests that hurdles may be high for a couple of members of the national executive board – Ernst & Young CEO James Turley and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson – who have recently indicated they would try to work from within to change the membership policy. Both of their companies have been commended by gay-rights groups for gay-friendly employment policies.

    Stephenson is on track to become president of the Scouts' national board in 2014, and will likely face continued pressure from gay-rights groups to try to end the exclusion policy. Asked for comment on Tuesday about the Scouts' decision to keep the policy, AT&T did not refer to Stephenson's situation specifically.

    "We don't agree with every policy of every organization we support, nor would we expect them to agree with us on everything," the company said. "Our belief is that change at any organization must come from within to be successful and sustainable."

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    A statement from the executive committee of the Scouts' national executive board alluded to the Turley-Stephenson developments.

    "Scouting believes that good people can personally disagree on this topic and still work together to achieve the life-changing benefits to youth through Scouting," the statement said. "While not all board members may personally agree with this policy, and may choose a different direction for their own organizations, BSA leadership agrees this is the best policy for the organization."

    Since 2000, the Boy Scouts have been targeted with numerous protest campaigns and run afoul of some local nondiscrimination laws because of the membership policy.

    One ongoing protest campaign involves Jennifer Tyrrell, the Ohio mother of a 7-year-old Cub Scout who was ousted as a den mother because she is lesbian.

    Change.org, an online forum supporting activist causes, says more than 300,000 people have signed its petition urging the Scouts to reinstate Tyrrell and abandon the exclusion policy. The petition is to be delivered to the Scouts' national headquarters in Irving, Texas, on Wednesday.

    Eagle Scout Zach Wahls, an Iowa college student who was raised by lesbian mothers, said Tuesday's announcement didn't change his view that eventually the Scouts would relent under pressure from campaigns such as those that he and his allies have mounted.

    "I'm sure they'll keep saying this until the day they decide to change the policy," said Wahls.

    He contended that the committee review process should not have been kept secret. "The very first value of the Scout Law is that a Scout is trustworthy," Wahls said. "There is absolutely nothing trustworthy about unelected and unnamed committee members who are unwilling to take responsibility for their actions."

    The Boy Scouts' policy stands in contrast to inclusive membership policies adopted by several other major youth organizations, including the Girl Scouts of the USA and Camp Fire.

    Boy Scouts statement: http://www.scouting.org/Media/PressReleases/2012/20120717.aspx


  35. Boy Scouts Dangerous Message to Young Americans: Gay Kids Don't Measure Up

    by Michelangelo Signorile, Editor-at-large, HuffPost Gay Voices; SiriusXM radio host

    With the announcement after a two-year review that it would continue to exclude gay scouts and gay and lesbian scout leaders, the Boy Scouts of America has decided to continue sending a devastating and dangerous message to young people across America: keep gays away because they are not like to the rest of us.

    It's devastating and dangerous because it comes at a time when we've seen escalating reports of young people, some as young as 7, taking their own lives, suicides by gay kids often victimized and brutalized by bullies. The bullies do it because they've been told that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are worthless and should be shunned.

    And who is telling the bullies to shun "avowed homosexuals" or those they perceive to be? Well as of yesterday, once again, none other than the Boy Scouts of America, which said it would continue to ban "open or avowed" gays. By deciding after a two-year secretive review of an 11-member committee -- a committee so cowardly that the names of those on it have been kept confidential -- that it would continue to discriminate, the Boy Scouts tells young Americans that no one should accept gay people. If gays shouldn't be allowed in the Boy Scouts, after all, why should they be allowed in your school or in your neighborhood?

    Activist Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout whose two moms are lesbians, and Jennifer Tyrrell, a lesbian mother from Ohio who was forced out as a den leader, had brought renewed attention to the injustice of the policy in recent months. "We've heard this line before, and I'm sure they'll keep saying this until the day they decide to change the policy," Wahls said in a statement. "We know where this is headed."

    But until that time, how many more kids will feel the stigma the Boy Scouts helps perpetuate? The statement from the BSA is breathtaking in its callousness, and by claiming that it allowed for diverse viewpoints but that continuing the ban was ultimately decided upon by "unanimous consent," the BSA did further damage by insinuating that even those who support gays think it's best to keep them out:

    The committee included a diversity of perspectives and opinions.The review included forthright and candid conversation and extensive research and evaluations -- both from within Scouting and from outside the organization. The committee's work and conclusion is that this policy reflects the beliefs and perspectives of the BSA's members, thereby allowing Scouting to remain focused on its mission and the work it is doing to serve more youth.

    The BSA's argument is that the majority of its members believe in such discrimination, therefore it must continue to discriminate. What does that tell young people all across America? That bullying is fine -- and yes, what the Boy Scouts is engaging in is institutionalized bullying -- as long as the majority is down with it.

    The Boy Scouts had a chance to redeem itself, but it should now be considered an enemy of civil rights and a reckless organization whose actions are furthering bullying and discrimination in America. Any parents in good conscious must realize what they are a party to by enrolling their kids in an organization whose policies would help drive the hostility and violence that gay kids experience every day in this country. And any corporation or organization that associates with the Boy Scouts must be made to realize the ugliness it is party to as well.


  36. Boy Scouts of America policy embraces anti-LGBT prejudice

    By Joseph J. Levin, Jr., SPLC Co-Founder July 25, 2012

    Twelve years ago, the Southern Poverty Law Center stopped participating in the Montgomery, Ala., United Way campaign because the organization chose to fund the Boy Scouts of America despite its policy of excluding LGBT people from its ranks.

    We clearly could not support such discrimination. We were not alone. Some United Way chapters across the country chose to drop the Boy Scouts as beneficiaries of their fundraising campaigns.

    Unfortunately, the Boy Scouts of America has decided recently to keep the policy in place. That’s a mistake, one that will reverberate far beyond the realm of scouting. It’s unfortunate that an organization that has meant so much to millions of boys and young men and that has epitomized the values of honesty, integrity and character has chosen to continue a policy that’s antithetical to our nation’s ideals of equality.

    Allowing LGBT people to serve in leadership positions will not endanger children. The American Psychological Association has stated unequivocally that “homosexual men are not more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexual men.” And there is absolutely no reason to fear the prospect of a gay youth becoming a boy scout.

    But this is about more than scouting. It’s about a major, well-respected American institution continuing to endorse the belief that LGBT people are second-class citizens. Many people will believe that if the Boy Scouts of America is excluding LGBT people, it must be OK.

    Of course, the Boy Scouts of America doesn’t intend to encourage bigotry. But such policies can have that effect.

    We see the impact of anti-LGBT bigotry in schools across the country, where bullying is rampant. It’s easy to understand why a child might engage in such behavior when he sees adults treat LGBT people as undeserving of basic rights. As adults, we must never forget that children learn by our example.

    Anti-LGBT bigotry also can lead to horrible hate crimes. Two years ago, the SPLC analyzed 14 years of federal hate crime data and found that LGBT people, and those perceived to be gay, are far more likely to be victims of a violent hate crime than any other minority group in the United States. We shouldn’t be surprised by that finding, given that so many people in positions of authority – politicians, pundits and others – portray LGBT people as dangerous.

    The good news is that despite the persistence of prejudice, we’re witnessing a sea change in the attitudes of Americans toward gay men and lesbians. More and more people are realizing that they aren’t some shadowy threat but rather our friends, our family members, our neighbors and our co-workers. They’re people who deserve the same rights and privileges as everyone else.

    It’s time for the Boy Scouts of America to realize it, too.


  37. Boy Scout files reveal repeat child abuse by sexual predators

    By Jason Felch and Kim Christensen, Los Angeles Times August 5, 2012

    For nearly a century, the Boy Scouts of America has relied on a confidential blacklist known as the "perversion files" as a crucial line of defense against sexual predators.

    Scouting officials say they've used the files to prevent hundreds of men who had been expelled for alleged sexual abuse from returning to the ranks. They've fought hard in court to keep the records from public view, saying confidentiality was needed to protect victims, witnesses and anyone falsely accused.

    "It is a fact that Scouts are safer because the barrier created by these files is real," Scouts Chief Executive Robert Mazzuca said in video posted on the organization's website in June.

    That barrier, however, has been breached repeatedly.

    A Los Angeles Times review of more than 1,200 files dating from 1970 to 1991 found more than 125 cases across the country in which men allegedly continued to molest Scouts after the organization was first presented with detailed allegations of abusive behavior.

    Predators slipped back into the program by falsifying personal information or skirting the registration process. Others were able to jump from troop to troop around the country thanks to clerical errors, computer glitches or the Scouts' failure to check the blacklist.

    In some cases, officials failed to document reports of abuse in the first place, letting offenders stay in the organization until new allegations surfaced. In others, officials documented abuse but merely suspended the accused leader or allowed him to continue working with boys while on "probation."

    In at least 50 cases, the Boy Scouts expelled suspected abusers, only to discover later that they had reentered the program and were accused of molesting again.

    One scoutmaster was expelled in 1970 for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy in Indiana. Even after being convicted of the crime, he went on to join two troops in Illinois between 1971 and 1988. He later admitted to molesting more than 100 boys, was convicted of the sexual assault of a Scout in 1989 and was sentenced to 100 years in prison, according to his file and court records.

    In 1991, a Scout leader convicted of abusing a boy in Minnesota returned to his old troop — right after getting out of jail.

    "Basically, there were no controls," said Bill Dworin, a retired Los Angeles police expert on child sexual abuse who reviewed hundreds of the files as a witness for an Oregon man abused by his troop leader in the 1980s. In 2010, the plaintiff, Kerry Lewis, won a nearly $20-million jury verdict against the Scouts.

    In response to the Times' findings, the Scouts issued a statement that said in part:

    "The Boy Scouts of America believes even a single instance of abuse is unacceptable, and we regret there have been times when the BSA's best efforts to protect children were insufficient. For that we are very sorry and extend our deepest sympathies to victims.... We are committed to the ongoing enhancement of our program, in line with evolving best practices for protecting youth."

    The Scouts have maintained "ineligible volunteer" files in one form or another since at least 1919 to keep track of men who failed to meet Scouting's moral standards. Files that involved allegations of child sexual abuse were dubbed "perversion files." A master list of those banned from Scouting has been computerized since 1975 and is used to vet applicants for volunteer and paid positions.

    Only a select few in Scouting have access to the files, which are kept in 15 locked cabinets at Scout headquarters in Irving, Texas. But over the years, hundreds of the files have been admitted as evidence, usually under seal, in lawsuits by former Scouts alleging a pattern of abuse in the organization.

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    Many of the files will soon be made public as a result of an Oregon Supreme Court decision. The court, in response to a petition by the Oregonian, the Associated Press, the New York Times and other media organizations, ordered the release of 1,247 files from 1965 to 1984 that had been admitted as evidence, under seal, in the 2010 lawsuit.

    In anticipation of the release, attorneys for the Boy Scouts conducted an informal review of 829 of the files, saying they sought to put the contents in perspective. The Scouts said the review found 175 instances in which the files prevented men who'd been banned for alleged abuse from reentering the program.

    The Times analyzed an overlapping, though broader and more recent, set of files, which were submitted in a California court case in 1992. Their contents vary but often include biographical information on the accused, witness statements, police reports, parent complaints, news clippings, and correspondence between local Boy Scout officials and national headquarters.

    The accounts that emerge are often incomplete. But the Scouts ultimately deemed the allegations sufficiently credible to expel the suspected abusers.

    Many files contain searing descriptions of molestation from young victims.

    "I was crying, and I reached around and hit Max in the face, and said I was going to quit the troop and tell my daddy," a 10-year-old Scout wrote in 1972, describing his alleged rape by a Georgia troop leader, Samuel Max Dubois Jr. "Then we heard the others coming back, and Max said put your pants back on."

    Dubois was not tried in that case but was expelled from the Scouts. He was later convicted of child sexual abuse in North Carolina and spent 14 years in prison, state records show.

    Today, the Boy Scouts of America says it continues to use the confidential files as part of its efforts to prevent child abuse. In recent decades, it has added other protective measures. In 1988, for instance, Scouting did away with probation; its policy now is to expel anyone suspected in "good faith" of abuse. In 2008, criminal background checks were required on all volunteers, and in 2010 the organization required all suspected abuse to be reported to law enforcement.

    The extent to which these measures have succeeded is impossible to gauge: The Scouts continue to fight in court against the release of more recent files.


    The case of a Southern California troop leader named Stephen Field illustrates how porous the Scouts' protections were in the 1970s and '80s.

    Scouting officials first investigated Field in 1971, when a Santa Monica Scout said the leader had sexually abused him.

    A troop committee including parents and a psychiatrist concluded unanimously that the boy's story was true and discovered that Field had a history of inappropriate behavior — including making Scouts run around naked after games of strip poker, according to the file.

    But no one called police. Instead, a regional Scout leader followed what was then standard procedure: He filled out a biographical form on Field and assembled the evidence for national headquarters, which opened a confidential file and deleted Field's name from the membership rolls.

    From that point forward, any time Field tried to register as a Scouting volunteer, his name was supposed to be checked against a national list of those in the confidential files. Scouting officials assured the regional Scout leader that Field would never participate in Scouting again.

    But he did. He was involved with several Southern California troops over the next 17 years, according to his file.

    Contacted recently by The Times, Field explained that after he failed a lie detector test required by the Santa Monica troop committee, he was encouraged to transfer to another troop in the city, where he served as scoutmaster for four years.

    "They said it had all been cleared up with the Scouts," Field said.

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    In Valencia, he joined his brother-in-law's troop but left after a parent intercepted a love letter he had written to a Scout, the file shows. At one point, the file says, Field was caught watching pornography with naked Scouts in his Jacuzzi.

    No one appears to have reported either incident to national headquarters at the time.

    Headquarters didn't learn that Field had reentered the Scouts until 1988, when a Scouting official in Fillmore reported that "Steve Field," chairman of the local troop committee, had been arrested for masturbating with a boy. It took a few days for officials to confirm he was the same Stephen D. Field who had been expelled in 1971.

    Sheriff's investigators found pictures of nude boys dating back 10 to 15 years in Field's possession and asked the Boy Scouts for their file on Field.

    The national office complied, with one request: "We hope you will use this information with discretion since we have tried to maintain our files so that they cannot be subpoenaed in any legal action," wrote Paul Ernst, administrator of the confidential files from the 1970s into the 1990s.

    Ultimately, Field was convicted of abusing two 13-year-old-boys in Fillmore and sentenced to 12 years in prison, his file indicates.

    In the interview, Field, 67, who now works in a law office in the Central Valley, denied most of the allegations, except those of which he was convicted.

    Told he had been on the Scouts' blacklist since 1971, he expressed surprise at how long he had been able to remain in Scouting.

    "It's like a no-fly list," he said. "If your name is on the no-fly list, you shouldn't be able to get on a plane."

    Field said he had no further contact with Scouts after his conviction.

    Other convicted molesters were able to return to the ranks.

    In 1973, Scoutmaster Alan C. Dunlap was arrested in Fresno on suspicion of using his position to abuse several children.

    "He was arrested for the worst kind of sex deviation," the grandmother of some victims wrote in a letter to prosecutors contained in Dunlap's file. "It was through his Scout work that his contacts and friendships had been made."

    The Scouts had opened a file on Dunlap after he pleaded guilty to four counts of molestation and was committed to a California psychiatric hospital.

    Thirteen years later, in 1986, Dunlap had successfully registered as a Scout volunteer in Bryan, Texas, according to his file. There was no indication that anyone checked the blacklist before registering him.

    According to court records, he soon began abusing boys, including a 9-year-old Cub Scout whom he later pleaded guilty to molesting. Dunlap was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

    The national office received a request to include Dunlap in the confidential file — then realized he was already there.

    "Convicted again — child molestation," an official noted.

    In some instances, the Boy Scouts of America chose to give alleged molesters a second chance.

    In a 1992 deposition, Ernst, then keeper of the national file, testified that alleged abusers were given probation — which required periodic updates on the person's behavior — only if evidence of molestation was "extremely weak."

    An individual's confidential file was generally destroyed after probation was completed. But the files sometimes survived when the men went on to abuse again. Several of those cases suggest the initial evidence of abuse was strong.

    In September 1978, Scouting officials in North Carolina investigated the alleged abuse of a Scout by Mark F. Bumgarner, a 21-year-old assistant scoutmaster.

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    One night after most Scouts had retired to their tents at Camp Schiele, the boy stayed up talking with Bumgarner, who reached into the boy's pants and fondled him, according to a statement from the boy's father that is in Bumgarner's file. The boy objected repeatedly, but Bumgarner persisted, telling him "the cartilage in [his] penis was similar to his nose and that he could break it," the father wrote.

    After "considerable discussion," the national office decided that Bumgarner, an Eagle Scout and the son of the pastor whose church sponsored the troop, deserved another chance.

    Months later, he was arrested for sexually abusing two Scouts during a camp-out. He pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse, prompting the national office to expel him and open a file.

    Six years later, Bumgarner was back, serving as an assistant district commissioner with the Scouts in Fairfax, Va. National headquarters learned about his return to Scouting only in April 1988, when Bumgarner was sentenced to six years in prison for the sexual battery of two boys.

    Probation also was given to Floyd David Slusher, a 19-year-old staffer at a Boy Scout camp in Germany, who was caught abusing a Scout in 1972 and sent home to the United States.

    "Even after he was caught, they had to physically withstrain him of attempting to visit the Scout he was molesting," a Scouts official wrote to headquarters.

    A file was opened, but Slusher was allowed to continue working with Scouts. He went on to molest at least eight boys in a Boulder, Colo., troop, threatening to kill them if they told, according to a Boulder County Sheriff's Department report in his file.

    "Almost every Boy Scout in Troop 75 and Troop 73 has been approached sexually by Slusher on one time or another," a detective wrote, adding that the victims were "too numerous" to interview.

    After pleading guilty in 1977 to one count of sexually assaulting a child, Slusher was sentenced to prison, according to Colorado corrections records, and later released. In 1990, he was convicted of another child-abuse crime and is now serving a 25-year sentence, state records show.

    The Boy Scouts abolished probation and suspensions in 1988, around the same time a notorious case in San Mateo was coming to light.

    Richard Stenger, the head of a unit of the Sea Scouts — part of the Boy Scouts — was charged in 1971 with tying up and fondling three boys. Police found bondage equipment and books on pedophilia in his house.

    He was convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and a judge sentenced him to four years' probation, his file shows. The Scouts decided to suspend him during that period. But when the court-ordered probation ended, a local Scout executive and several parents successfully requested that the national office lift the suspension.

    "I feel quite confident that no further problems will arise," wrote the local Scout executive, whose name is blacked out in the heavily redacted file.

    Fourteen years later, in 1989, a parent notified the Boy Scouts that the 320-pound Stenger had padlocked her 11-year-old Scout in a harness and watched him dangle for 15 minutes during a boating trip, according to Stenger's file. Scouts notified police, who recovered from Stenger's home dozens of restraints and hundreds of images of children in bondage, including one of a blindfolded 6-year-old tied to a bed.

    Two dozen former and current Scouts came forward to say they had been abused by Stenger as long ago as 1958.

    "This isn't in the handbook," one told police.

    DOCUMENTS: Read the Boy Scouts files - http://documents.latimes.com/boy-scouts-paper-trail-of-abuse-documents/

    STATEMENT: Read the Boy Scouts full statement and timeline - http://documents.latimes.com/boy-scouts-youth-protection-timeline/


  41. Police: Boy Scout leader offered to perform sex acts on boys

    By Louis Casiano, NBC News August 23, 2012

    A former Massachusetts Boy Scout leader has been accused of possession child pornography and use of the Internet to entice boys to have sex.

    Andrew J. Meyers, 34, of Whitinsville, was arrested at his home Tuesday and has been in custody since his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Boston. He was to appear in federal court Thursday for a probable cause and detention hearing.

    Christina Sterling with the U.S. attorney's office in Massachusetts said most of those accused of sex crimes will waive the right to a detention hearing to avoid information about their alleged crimes getting out. "I've never seen anyone not waive it," she said.

    Meyers also worked as a lawyer and a substitute teacher and once served on the Northbridge School Committee. According to the arrest affidavit, authorities in Larimer County, Colo., contacted police in Northbridge, Mass., after receiving a complaint from the mother of a 12-year-old boy who had communicated with Meyers in July via email and Skype.

    Authorities said Meyers identified himself as 33-year-old Johnathan Andrews. According to the affidavit, during one conversation Meyers told the boy he had just returned from a week at scout camp and mentioned one of the boys there being " the horniest boy I have in the troop" and that "it helps that he's one of the cutest."

    According to the affidavit, when the child replied with "nothing like horny scout campers," Meyers then said, " I just wish some of them were willing to let me play along."
    Meyers is alleged to have told the child he masturbated to images and videos of boys and tried to convince him over Skype to touch and expose himself.

    Officials said that after a search of his emails, they found Meyers had requested nude photos and offered to perform sexual acts on at least three boys in Northbridge.

    During his communication with the boy in Colorado, according to investigators, he indicated he was closing his law practice and had an upcoming job interview for a teacher position at a middle school.

    After learning of his arrest, the Mohegan Council of the Boy Scouts of America released a statement saying Meyers had been terminated as a scoutmaster.

    If convicted Meyers could face 10 years in prison on the enticement charge and 10 years on the possession of child porn charge.


  42. Boy Scouts helped alleged molesters cover tracks, files show

    When volunteers and employees were suspected of sexually abusing children, Boy Scout officials often didn't tell police, files from 1970-91 reveal. In many cases they sought to hide the situation.

    By Kim Christensen and Jason Felch, Los Angeles Times September 16, 2012

    Over two decades, the Boy Scouts of America failed to report hundreds of alleged child molesters to police and often hid the allegations from parents and the public.

    A Los Angeles Times review of 1,600 confidential files dating from 1970 to 1991 has found that Scouting officials frequently urged admitted offenders to quietly resign — and helped many cover their tracks.

    Volunteers and employees suspected of abuse were allowed to leave citing bogus reasons such as business demands, "chronic brain dysfunction" and duties at a Shakespeare festival.

    Documents: A paper trail of abuse

    The details are contained in the organization's confidential "perversion files," a blacklist of alleged molesters, that the Scouts have used internally since 1919. Scouts' lawyers around the country have been fighting in court to keep the files from public view.

    As The Times reported in August, the blacklist often didn't work: Men expelled for alleged abuses slipped back into the program, only to be accused of molesting again. Now, a more extensive review has shown that Scouts sometimes abetted molesters by keeping allegations under wraps.

    In the majority of cases, the Scouts learned of alleged abuse after it had been reported to authorities. But in more than 500 instances, the Scouts learned about it from boys, parents, staff members or anonymous tips.

    Discuss: Boy Scouts and alleged child molesters

    In about 400 of those cases — 80% — there is no record of Scouting officials reporting the allegations to police. In more than 100 of the cases, officials actively sought to conceal the alleged abuse or allowed the suspects to hide it, The Times found.

    In 1982, a Michigan Boy Scout camp director who learned of allegations of repeated abuse by a staff member told police he didn't promptly report them because his bosses wanted to protect the reputation of the Scouts and the accused staff member.

    "He stated that he had been advised by his supervisors and legal counsel that he should neutralize the situation and keep it quiet," according to a police report in the file.

    That same year, the director of a Boy Scout camp in Virginia wrote to the Scouts' top lawyer, asking for help dealing with a veteran employee suspected of a "lifelong pattern" of abuse that had not been reported to police.

    "When a problem has surfaced, he has been asked to leave a position 'of his own free will' rather than risk further investigation," the director wrote. "The time has come for someone to make a stand and prevent further occurrences."

    There is no indication the Scouts took the matter to law enforcement.

    In 1976, five Boy Scouts wrote detailed complaints accusing a Pennsylvania scoutmaster of two rapes and other sex crimes, according to his file. He abruptly resigned in writing, saying he had to travel more for work.

    "Good luck to you in your new position," a top troop representative wrote back. He said he was accepting the resignation "with extreme regret."

    Scouting officials declined to be interviewed for this article. In a prepared statement, spokesman Deron Smith said, "We have always cooperated fully with any request from law enforcement and today require our members to report even suspicion of abuse directly to their local authorities."

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    The organization instituted that requirement in 2010. Before then, the policy was to obey state laws, which didn't always require youth groups to report abuse.

    In some instances, however, the Scouts may have violated those state laws. Since the early 1970s, for example, New Jersey has required anyone who suspects child abuse to report it. In several cases there, the Scouts received firsthand reports of alleged abuse, but nothing in the files indicates they informed authorities.

    In the 1970s and '80s, secrecy was embedded in the Scouts' policies and procedures for handling child sexual abuse.

    A cover sheet that accompanied many confidential files included a check box labeled "Internal (only scouts know)" as an option for how cases were resolved. A form letter sent to leaders being dismissed over abuse allegations stated: "We are making no accusations and will not release this information to anyone, so our action in no way will affect your standing in the community."

    That letter was included in the organization's 1972 policy on how to remove unfit leaders, which, according to an attached memo, was kept confidential "because of misunderstandings which could develop if it were widely distributed."

    The files at times provide an incomplete account of how abuse allegations were resolved. In his statement, the Scouting spokesman said, "In many instances, basic details are missing as they were not relevant to the BSA's sole reason for keeping files, which was to help identify and keep a list of individuals deemed to be unfit for membership in Scouting."

    Still, they reveal a culture in which even known molesters were shown extraordinary deference.

    In a 1987 case in Washington state, a district executive wrote to the national office complaining that his boss had refused to put a former scoutmaster on the blacklist, despite a molestation conviction, "because he has done so much for camp and is a nice guy."

    He had handed a newspaper clipping of the conviction to his boss, who "crumpled it up, said he saw it already, and then said, 'Why don't you just put it up on a billboard for everyone to see?'" the executive wrote. "Since that time, nothing has been done."

    A Maryland leader, who in 1990 "readily agreed" that abuse allegations against him were true, was given six weeks to resign and told he could give "his associates whatever reason that he chose," his file shows.

    "This gave him an opportunity to withdraw from Scouting in a graceful manner to be determined by him," an official wrote. "We also reminded [him] that he had agreed to keep the whole matter confidential and we would not talk to anyone in order to give [him] complete ability to voluntarily withdraw."

    In many cases, Scouting officials said they were keeping allegations quiet as a way of sparing young victims embarrassment.

    The result was that some alleged molesters went on to abuse other children, according to the Scouts' documents and court records.

    With 50 years in Scouting, Arthur W. Humphries appeared to be a model leader, winning two presidential citations and the Scouts' top award for distinguished service — the Silver Beaver — for his work with disabled boys in Chesapeake, Va.

    Unknown to most in town, he also was a serial child molester.

    A few months after Humphries' arrest in 1984, local Scouting official Jack Terwilliger told the Virginian-Pilot newspaper that no one at the local Scout council had had suspicions about Humphries.

    But that was not true. Records in Humphries' file show that six years earlier, Terwilliger had ordered officials to interview a Scout who gave a detailed account of Humphries' repeated acts of oral sex on him.

    "He then told me to do the same and I did," the 12-year-old boy said in a sworn statement in 1978.

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    Officials not only failed to report Humphries' alleged crime to police, records show — they also gave him a strong job reference two years later, when he applied for a post at a national Scouting event.

    "I believe the attached letters of recommendation and the newspaper write-up will give you a well rounded picture of Art," Terwilliger wrote. "If selected, I am sure that he would add much to the handicapped awareness trail at the 1981 Jamboree."

    Humphries continued to work with Scouts and molested at least five more boys before police, acting on a tip, stopped him in 1984. He was convicted of abusing 20 Boy Scouts, some as young as 8, and was sentenced to 151 years in prison.

    By then, one of the Scouts he'd abused a decade earlier had become his accomplice. He was convicted of molesting many of the same boys at Humphries' house.

    Humphries and Terwilliger are both deceased.

    The Boy Scouts' lawyers have long contended that keeping such files confidential is key to protecting the privacy of victims, of those who report sexual abuse and of anyone falsely accused. But over the years, hundreds of the files have been admitted into evidence — usually under seal — in lawsuits brought by alleged victims. The Times reviewed 1,600 of the nearly 1,900 files that came to light as a result of a 1992 court case.

    Hundreds more will soon become widely available. In June, the Oregon Supreme Court ordered the release of 1,247 of the Scouts' confidential files covering two decades beginning in 1965. The files were submitted in a 2010 lawsuit that resulted in a nearly $20-million judgment against the Scouts.

    The release of the files, many of which were included in The Times' review, raises the prospect of a costly wave of litigation for the Boy Scouts. In many states, however, statutes of limitation will curb victims' ability to sue.

    The Boy Scouts of America generally has responded to allegations of past abuse by emphasizing its increased efforts to protect children in recent decades.

    In the 1990s, for instance, it mandated background checks of staffers and in 2008 extended that requirement to all volunteers. The organization also has stepped up child abuse prevention training. The effect of those policies is hard to gauge because the Scouts have neither released nor analyzed more recent files.

    Regardless, the Scouts have taken no steps to account for unreported crimes years ago. In some of those cases, not even parents of abuse victims were told what happened.

    At a Rhode Island Boy Scout camp in 1971, a scoutmaster discovered a 12-year-old boy performing oral sex on an assistant troop leader, William Lazzareschi, behind a tent.

    "Mr. Lazzareschi made me do it to him," the young Scout told officials, according to the file.

    Lazzareschi "admitted his role in the act" and said he'd never done it before, the file states. He was expelled from Scouting and told to stay away from the boy. Nothing in the file indicates the Scouts called police.

    The records do show that the boy was counseled "with positive results" by the Rev. Edmond C. Micarelli, the camp's Catholic chaplain.

    "Upon Father Micarelli's recommendation, the parents were not notified," a report states.

    Micarelli's reasoning was not explained. But in 1990, he also wound up on the blacklist after a man told a Scouting official that the priest had raped him and his younger brother as boys. In 2002, the Diocese of Providence paid $13.5 million to 36 victims who sued Micarelli and 10 other priests, alleging sex abuse dating to at least 1975.

    Lazzareschi was convicted of sexual assault in 1997 and possession of child pornography in 2005, but he is no longer in prison, state records show. Neither he nor Micarelli, who retired to Florida more than 20 years ago, could be reached for comment.

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    The Scouts sometimes had help in keeping abuse out of the public eye.

    When a Los Angeles Scout leader was caught by police with hundreds of photos of naked Scouts in 1984 — many showing him giving enemas to boys — Scouting officials worked closely with police and the county children services department to keep the case from becoming public and embarrassing the Scouts.

    A summary of a meeting between Scouting officials and local agencies contained this conclusion: "We recognize that this unfortunate situation was no reflection on the Boy Scouts of America whose integrity and reputation must be maintained."

    In July 1987, a top official at Boy Scouts headquarters sent an internal "news advisory" to national leaders about allegations against a high-ranking Scout council leader in Milwaukee.

    "Dr. Thomas Kowalski, chairman of health and safety for the Milwaukee County Council, one of the most prominent physicians in the state and one of the authors of the Wisconsin laws on child abuse, has been removed from his BSA volunteer position(s) following allegations that he made sexual advances to two 16-year-old youths at the council's summer long-term camp," the advisory read.

    Kowalski admitted masturbating while fondling the two boys. Wisconsin Scouting officials reported the incidents to police, as required by state law, but the parents chose not to press charges, the file says.

    The Scouts then turned to a well-connected board member to keep the matter out of the news media — an unnamed publisher of local newspapers.

    The publisher "is aware of the situation but apparently will not be passing the information to his editors," the Scouting official wrote.

    The case was not reported in the press, and Kowalski continued to work with children for the next 14 years, until he retired from his medical practice in 2001.

    In an interview, Kowalski, now 75 and living in Milwaukee, said that he had received psychiatric counseling for years and had never re-offended.

    Boy Scouts youth protection timeline

    "The topic has not come up until your phone call today," he said. "Had that been publicized, I would have been out of business, reputation destroyed, and I don't know how I would have faced people at church."

    Times researchers Maloy Moore and Daniel Schonhaut contributed to this report.

    To read the links embedded in this article go to:


  46. Tax-Exempt Boy Scouts Hide 'Morally Straight' Pedophiles in Plain Sight

    By Dina Rasor, Truthout September 20, 2012

    While the Scouts have spent years hiding their pedophiles in the name of protecting their reputation, they were also launching a decades-long fight to keep gay scouts and leaders from being in their troops. This duplicity has all been supported with our tax dollars.

    This news story in the Los Angeles Times caught my eye recently:

    'Boy Scouts helped alleged molesters cover tracks, files show'

    Over two decades, the Boy Scouts of America failed to report hundreds of alleged child molesters to police and often hid the allegations from parents and the public. A Los Angeles Times review of 1600 confidential files dating from 1970 to 1991 has found that Scouting officials frequently urged admitted offenders to quietly resign - and helped many cover their tracks.

    Volunteers and employees suspected of abuse were allowed to leave, citing bogus reasons such as business demands, "chronic brain dysfunction" and duties at a Shakespeare festival.

    The story was the second the Los Angeles Times had written on this subject, having released their first set of files in a story that ran in August.

    The two accounts have story after story of disgusting tales of how the Boy Scouts kept files on known pedophiles and allowed many of them to continue or get back into Scouting, while not reporting them to the police. The Boy Scouts' national council claims it has gotten the situation under control and has instituted new measures to prevent this sad history from repeating itself. I am not so sure.

    I was a scout mom. I married an Eagle Scout who later served as a scout leader in my son's troop, and my son became a Life Scout and was troop leader for his troop for a year.

    I went to the ceremonies and got pinned as my son reached each level of Scouting. I served as a volunteer merit badge counselor for years, even after my son had left the troops, and taught for badges in Citizenship in the Community, Nation and World.

    Since these were required merit badges, I got a lot of scouts in groups of six or seven. I dutifully taught them about our civic institutions according to the merit badge worksheet, while also teaching them to question those institutions with the also-patriotic mind of an investigative reporter. It was fun and I taught over 50 scouts.

    Then several years ago, when molestation concerns for the Boy Scouts' leaders started to get national attention, the Boy Scouts' national council had all leaders, including merit badge leaders, take a course in recognizing the signs of molestation and required all leaders and volunteers to pass a criminal background check.

    You could do it all online so I registered myself and took the exam. I felt at the time that the test was not very good and certainly would not have helped in identifying molesters or outing me if I was one. I easily passed the test and printed out my certificate.

    However, for the next year, the Boy Scouts kept telling me that I had not done the requirements. At first the local council just asked me to fax my certificate but the national council kept messing it up until I was asked to take the test again. I did it again and then spent the next few months again trying to prove to them that I had retaken the test and faxed and faxed my certificate.

    I was very frustrated because I don't have a common name. When they asked me to take the test again, I turned them down out of sheer frustration and gave up the great fun I had teaching for the civic merit badges. Until I saw the Los Angles Times article this weekend, I wondered how they could have such a messed up system and how they could really keep track of the true pedophiles.

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    What I didn't know was that they had a main file for abusers that they hid from authorities and parents, while allowing some of their worst abusers to rejoin as scout leaders, only to molest again and again. It reminded me of how the Catholic Church got away with hiding and passing their pedophile priests on to unsuspecting parishes in order to hide the shame and controversy from their parishioners.

    The Times stories questioned if this is still going on in the Scouts, because recent records have not been released. The Boy Scouts are resisting releasing more while they claim that they have the situation under control. The extensive archive at the Los Angeles Times web site, showing the documentation of the organization hiding pedophiles year after year is sickening to read through.

    The whole irony is that while the Boy Scouts were - or are - for years, hiding their pedophiles in the name of protecting their reputation, they were also launching a decades-long fight to keep gay scouts and leaders from being in their troops. They claimed that it went against their oath of being "morally straight."

    In 2000 they won the right to keep all gays out of their organization. They recently revisited the issue and in July of this year once again decided to keep all gays out of Scouting. (My son's troop quietly ignored the gay ban and let anyone in.)

    It isn't hard to find evidence that they keep at this rejection of gay scouts and leaders because of the age-old myth that pedophiles are mainly homosexuals. Mitt Romney has surprisingly stood for allowing gay scouts and gay leaders for 20 years and didn't change his stance for this campaign as of August of this year. (Is this a record for him for standing firm on anything since his run for Senate in Massachusetts?)

    Conservative religious groups have pilloried him, including conservative commentator Bryan Fischer. According to a right-wing newsletter called the New American, this was given as the reason for keeping gays out of Scouting:

    Fischer emphasized the untenable moral nature of Romney's stand, noting that abundant research proves homosexual men very often sexually target boys the age of those participating in Boy Scouts and its junior program, Cub Scouts. 'Gov. Romney's position, if adopted by the BSA, would put the sexual innocence of untold numbers of young boys at risk,' Fischer wrote. 'It is truly an unconscionable position for a self-described 'severely conservative' candidate to take, particularly in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State.'

    Study after study shows that homosexuals make up only a small portion of pedophiles. According to a study called the Abel & Harlow Child Molestation Prevention Study published in 2001, the typical pedophile is religious, white and straight with little sexual interest in adult men:

    These findings are in direct opposition to the generally accepted opinion that the overwhelming majority of men who molest boys are homosexual. The majority of men who molest boys (70 percent) are predominantly heterosexual. In general, that large number parallels the number of men in the US population (85 percent) who have reported that they are predominantly heterosexual.

    In 2000, the Boy Scouts' national council put out a totally ironic statement that was their version of "don't ask, don't tell," to try to quiet the controversy by saying, "Boy Scouting makes no effort to discover the sexual orientation of any person."

    I guess they weren't trying to find out the sexual orientation of their pedophiles while they hid the ones that they knew and passed them off to other unsuspecting Boy Scout troops. So much controversy over being gay while hiding their "morally straight" pedophiles.

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    Because the Scouts' national council is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, tax deductible organization: This has all been done with our tax dollars. Our government is allowing this organization to get contributions that would have otherwise been taxed, so the federal government is tacitly supporting this organization's behavior.

    Churches also get this designation but I believe that it would be skirting First Amendment rights for churches to be forced to admit people that they don't want unless is it is on race. (The Mormon church almost lost its nonprofit status in 1978 for not allowing male black priests, until they had a revelation and changed their policy.) But while the Boy Scouts insist on believing in God, they accept all religions including Wicca and Native American religions.

    But our tax money is supporting an organization that is not a unique religion but is being allowed to criminally hide pedophiles from law enforcement and the unsuspecting public. Since the Boy Scouts are up there with mom and apple pie, it would be hard for the IRS to crack down on their criminal behavior and their exclusion.

    But along with the recent court ruling allowing tax deductible nonprofit "social welfare" organizations to do blatant election politics, we need to rethink our rules on this and either change the tax deductible laws, or force the IRS to enforce their own rules on these politically sensitive but out-of-control tax deductible organizations. (I wrote a Solutions column on non-profit abuse and elections.)

    Maybe after the election, there will be a move to look at the election abuses of these organizations, but I say that we also look at ones, like the Boy Scouts, who systematically broke the law for decades and still may be at it.

    A suspension of their tax deductible status and a probationary term to get their act together might wake them up, especially since the chief scout executive in the country makes over $1 million a year.

    Organizations like the Boy Scouts have gotten away with criminal activity for too long. If you don't believe me, just look at this one of many examples that is laid out in the Los Angeles Times article
    which ironically pulls in a pedophile from the Catholic Church:

    At a Rhode Island Boy Scout camp in 1971, a scoutmaster discovered a 12-year-old boy performing oral sex on an assistant troop leader, William Lazzareschi, behind a tent.

    'Mr. Lazzareschi made me do it to him,' the young Scout told officials, according to the file.

    Lazzareschi 'admitted his role in the act' and said he'd never done it before, the file states. He was expelled from Scouting and told to stay away from the boy. Nothing in the file indicates the Scouts called police.

    The records do show that the boy was counseled 'with positive results' by the Rev. Edmond C. Micarelli, the camp's Catholic chaplain.

    'Upon Father Micarelli's recommendation, the parents were not notified,' a report states.

    Micarelli's reasoning was not explained. But in 1990, he also wound up on the blacklist after a man told a Scouting official that the priest had raped him and his younger brother as boys. In 2002, the Diocese of Providence paid $13.5 million to 36 victims who sued Micarelli and 10 other priests, alleging sex abuse dating to at least 1975.

    Lazzareschi was convicted of sexual assault in 1997 and possession of child pornography in 2005, but he is no longer in prison, state records show. Neither he nor Micarelli, who retired to Florida more than 20 years ago, could be reached for comment.

    There are hundreds of stories like this one. Our federal government should not be subsidizing an organization that has covered this up for years while excluding "morally straight" gay men and boys from participating in an organization that my son and husband enjoyed so much.


  49. Boy Scouts to report suspected pedophiles to U.S. authorities

    By Chris Francescani, Reuters October 1, 2012

    The Boy Scouts of America is preparing to report to law enforcement the names of hundreds of adult leaders who have confessed to or been accused of molesting scouts since the 1960s, a spokesman said Monday.

    The Boy Scouts' policy since last year has required accusations or incidents of child molestation to be immediately reported to authorities. Before then, reporting requirements differed from state to state depending on local laws, which raised questions about how many incidents went unreported over the years.

    The change announced on Monday "is simply retrofitting our current policy to past cases," according to organization spokesman Deron Smith.

    The Boy Scouts, one of the country's largest youth organizations, will turn the information over to local authorities in the jurisdictions where the accusations originated.

    While some former scout leaders and volunteers could be subject to criminal charges as a result of the names, plaintiff attorneys say they don't expect a wave of charges to be filed.

    Prosecutions would require more than simply an accusation, and many of the cases are decades old. In some states, in cases where statutes of limitations on reporting sexual abuse haven't expired, civil charges could still be brought.

    The decision to turn over names to authorities comes as the Boy Scouts is preparing for the court-ordered release this month of 20,000 pages of internal files. The files date from 1965 to 1985 and detail roughly 1,200 cases of scout leaders who abused children or were accused of doing so.

    The files played a key evidentiary role in a 2010 civil case in which an Oregon jury found the Boy Scouts liable for $20 million for failing to protect a scout from a 1980s leader who was an admitted pedophile.

    Since at least 1919, the Boy Scouts, headquartered in Irving, Texas, has maintained an "ineligible volunteers" file to prevent suspected pedophiles from re-entering its ranks in other cities and states.

    Law enforcement was involved in about two-thirds of the 1,200 cases that arose between 1965 and 1985, Smith said. But in an estimated 300 cases, there is no evidence that authorities were ever notified because state law did not require it.

    It is unclear how many similar cases are contained in the files dating from 1985 to the present, Smith said, but those names will also be turned over to authorities. An internal review is under way.

    Defense lawyers who represent molested scouts say it's a decision that has been too long in coming.

    "This represents a fundamental shift from any other point in history in the way the Boy Scouts have regarded the contents of these files," said Paul Mones, the lead plaintiff attorney in the Oregon case.

    "There were some cases in which the Boy Scouts had admissions from or pretty strong evidence of molestation and didn't contact law enforcement, and still haven't," he said.

    Mones said turning over the names "represents a major step forward."

    The Boy Scouts have annually counted between 3.5 million and 5 million scouts and more than 1 million adult leaders and volunteers among its members since the 1960s, Smith said.

    (Reporting by Chris Francescani; Editing by Paul Thomasch and Cynthia Osterman)


  50. In Scouting reports, a pattern of molestation

    There is no single predator profile, but analysis of confidential files shows 'grooming behavior,' a gradual seduction. The organization declined to use the reports as a tool to prevent more abuse.

    By Jason Felch and Kim Christensen, Los Angeles Times October 17, 2012

    The thousands of men expelled from the Boy Scouts of America on suspicion of molesting children came from all walks of life — teachers and plumbers, doctors and bus drivers, politicians and policemen. They ranged in age from teens to senior citizens and came from troops in every state.

    As the Scouts long have said, the files suggest no single profile of a predator. But a close look at nearly 1,900 confidential files opened between 1970 and 1991 revealed a pattern: Many suspected molesters engaged in what psychologists today call "grooming behavior," a gradual seduction in which predators lavish children with attention, favors and gifts.

    In hundreds of cases, Scout leaders allowed the boys to drive cars, drink alcohol or look at pornography. They gradually tested physical boundaries during skinny dipping, group showers, sleepovers and one-on-one activities.

    "He combs the boys' hair and buys them clothes and dinner," one mother wrote to a Scouting official in 1985 about an Orange scoutmaster. "He takes them to church, motorcycle riding, skiing, flying. . . . Everybody thought he was a real nice guy. Now we know why he did these things."

    Boys in a York, Pa., troop alleged in the 1980s that their 28-year-old scoutmaster invited them for sleepovers at his house, then plied them with beer and pornography.

    "And then as they become further inebriated and perhaps sexually excited from viewing the pornographic films, he touches them and tries to undress them, and then proceeds to do other things if he is successful," an assistant scoutmaster noted in a memo in the file.

    The confidential files, kept by the Scouts for nearly 100 years, were intended to permanently bar suspected molesters from the organization.

    The Times obtained two decades of files, submitted as evidence in a court case, as well as case summaries from an additional 3,100 files opened between 1947 and 2005. Both were provided by Seattle attorney Timothy Kosnoff, who has sued the Boy Scouts more than 100 times. The dossiers — which included biographical data, legal records, Scouting correspondence, boys' accounts of alleged abuse and media reports — represent all surviving files kept by the Scouts as of January 2005. The Scouts have destroyed an unknown number of files over the years.

    Hundreds of files from the 1960s to the 1980s are set to be released Thursday by order of the Oregon Supreme Court, giving the public its first broad view of the documents.

    According to the Times analysis of thousands of case summaries, at least 47% of the men expelled from the Scouts for suspected abuse were single, and at least the same portion did not have a child in the program. Those numbers could both be higher, because in many files this information was not recorded.

    The full case files showed that nearly all the cases arose from situations in which troop leaders were alone with boys — a practice the Boy Scouts has long discouraged and officially prohibited since 1987. At least a quarter of the cases involved contact with boys outside of official Scouting activities, at scoutmasters' homes for instance, or on nonsanctioned camping trips.

    Many of the men who were ultimately expelled from the Scouts were highly decorated troop leaders and respected members of the community. Dozens had been honored with Scouting awards such as the Silver Beaver, a distinguished service award for adult troop leaders.

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    John McGrew was a Dallas scoutmaster who had been recognized as teacher of the year and received a proclamation from City Hall for his work with disadvantaged youths. Two months before he was arrested on molestation charges, he was featured in Scouting Magazine, where his supervisor praised his "personal dedication and genuine love for these kids."

    In 1988, 16 boys testified in court that McGrew had abused them. He was convicted on several counts and sentenced to life in prison.

    The grooming process and rule-breaking often ensured boys' silence, allowing some men to serially abuse boys over a span of years before being caught. In more than 50 cases, Scout leaders were alleged to have abused 10 or more boys by the time they were expelled.

    Darrald Timmie Ostopowich, an assistant scoutmaster in Los Angeles, told a psychiatrist that over four years he sexually assaulted more than 50 boys, most of whom were Cub Scouts, according to his file. Scouting officials only learned about the abuse years later after news of his 1981 conviction was published. He is now in jail.

    Scouting officials declined to be interviewed for this article. The organization released a prepared statement by Mike Johnson, the organization's national youth protection director, who underscored the difficulty in identifying predators before they strike.

    "My nearly 30 years of experience as a detective who investigated child sexual abuse confirms what leading youth protection professionals know: There is no profile of a potential abuser," he said.

    "This is precisely why, in addition to using these files as a background screening tool, Scouting requires a multitiered approach to youth protection, including criminal background checks, two adult leaders at all activities and the training of all youth in personal safety awareness, including teaching them to recognize, resist and report abuse."

    Many of those reforms were adopted in the late 1980s and early 1990s, as the Scouts were named in a growing number of lawsuits and cited in reports on sexual abuse. The Times analysis found a sharp increase in the number of files opened at that time — something experts say probably reflected an increasing awareness of the problem.

    Beginning in the early 1990s, some experts on the Scouts youth safety advisory panel urged the organization to study the files for patterns, but they were ignored, according to two of the experts.

    "I told them I thought it would be good for someone to do a review of them for scientific purposes," said David Finkelhor, a child abuse expert from the University of New Hampshire who served for a decade on the advisory board. "A lot of us were scientists and thought this could be very helpful. We raised it pretty regularly every year or two."

    Dr. Richard Krugman, dean of the University of Colorado Medical School and a member of the advisory board during much of the 1990s, recalled asking Scouting officials to study whether the incidence of sexual abuse changed after an abuse prevention program was adopted.

    "I said it would be really nice to have the data to support everyone's impression that these interventions are working," he recalled. "The answer was no. We weren't given reasons."

    Krugman and Finkelhor said it was their impression that attorneys for the Boy Scouts decided not to do an analysis because of concerns about liability.

    The result, these and other experts said, was that the Boy Scouts missed a chance to glean important insights from what is believed to be one of the largest sets of records on the alleged sexual abuse of children ever collected.

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    Scouting officials long have said that analyzing the files would not enhance their efforts to protect children. Last year, however, after an Oregon judge ordered about 1,200 files to be released publicly, the Scouts commissioned a study of several hundred of the files by an expert who had testified for the organization in court. University of Virginia psychiatry professor Janet Warren concluded that "there was little information in the files concerning the techniques used…to 'groom' their alleged child victims" and no clear risk factors to help screen out molesters.

    A clinical psychologist who also has reviewed hundreds of the files strongly disagreed, saying that the documents were full of information about the behavioral traits of "acquaintance molesters," which were not well understood until the 1980s. Gary Schoener, who testified as an expert for the plaintiff in the Oregon case and is director of a Minneapolis mental health clinic, said an analysis of the files decades ago "would have spurred research and we would have recognized those things much earlier."

    The Scouts missed "a chance to really understand the phenomena and construct really good education materials," he said.

    In many of the files, The Times found, patterns emerged among the alleged victims as well. The boys were often from troubled backgrounds or seeking approval from a father figure.

    During an interview with prosecutors in 1990, a 17-year-old former Scout from a Valley Forge, Pa., troop haltingly described how he came to be involved in a more than yearlong relationship with 45-year-old Douglas Verney, a former policeman he met through Scouting and had come to trust "very much."

    "I had a lot of family problems… And so I was kind of like emotionally ripped up and that kind of thing. I think I was looking for somebody who was there to be that comfort, you know, that parent, parental figure."

    The boy went on to describe how, over a period of months, Verney had offered him a job and began counseling him and hugging him. One day around the youth's 16th birthday, as he was talking and crying, Verney unzipped the boy's pants.

    The relationship ended when the Scout's mother discovered a letter from Verney with sexual overtones. In 1990, Verney was charged with molesting him and two others, and pleaded guilty to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, corrupting the morals of minors and sexual abuse of children.

    Even as he described his sexual abuse, the boy told his interviewer that he had never intended to report it — until he heard that a 14-year-old friend had been abused as well.

    "I really had no idea of cooperating at all," he said.

    To see the links embedded in this article go to:


    DATABASE: Tracking decades of allegations
    FULL COVERAGE: Inside the 'perversion files'


    Times staff researchers Maloy Moore and Daniel Schonhaut contributed to this report.

  53. Attorneys to release confidential Boy Scouts files on alleged child sex abusers

    By Michael Martinez and Paul Vercammen, CNN
    October 18, 2012

    (CNN) -- More than 20,000 confidential Boy Scout documents will be released Thursday identifying more than 1,000 leaders and volunteers banned from the group after being accused of sexual or inappropriate conduct with boys.

    The public release of the Scouts' 1,247 "ineligible volunteer files" from 1965 to 1985 will not contain the identities of the boy victims and witnesses. The national files are being distributed with the approval of the Oregon Supreme Court by a law firm that won an $18.5 million judgment in 2010 against the Boy Scouts in a case where a Scoutmaster sexually abused a boy.

    Wayne Perry, president of Boy Scouts of America, said the group is deeply committed to youth protection, but he acknowledged that in some cases, the organization's response to allegations of abuse by volunteers "were plainly insufficient, inappropriate or wrong."

    "Where those involved in Scouting failed to protect, or worse, inflicted harm on children, we extend our deepest and sincere apologies to victims and their families," Perry said in a statement issued Wednesday evening. "While it is difficult to understand or explain individuals' actions from many decades ago, today Scouting is a leader among youth-serving organizations in preventing child abuse."

    The Boy Scouts opposed the release of the internal records and said their confidentiality has encouraged prompt reporting of questionable behavior and privacy for victimized boys and their families.

    "While we respect the court, we are still concerned that the release of two decades' worth of confidential files into public view, even with the redactions indicated, may still negatively impact victims' privacy and have a chilling effect on the reporting of abuse," the organization said.

    The Scouts also released a September report from a University of Virginia psychiatry professor, Janet Warren, who concluded that the system "has functioned well in keeping many unfit adults out of Scouting."

    But the attorneys representing victims in several lawsuits against the Scouts say the group hid evidence from the public and police and that the so-called "perversion files" offer insight into what they deem a serious problem in the organization.

    The secrecy protected more than 1,000 suspected child molesters, said the attorneys, who will publicly release the documents during a news conference in a downtown Portland hotel. The attorneys are also seeking the release of post-1985 files from the Boy Scouts.

    The files will show that the expelled Scout leaders and volunteers -- all men -- "are sociopathic geniuses," said attorney Kelly Clark of Portland, who has reviewed the 20,000 pages and is among the attorneys releasing the papers Thursday.

    "They fool everybody," he said. "And then they are able to coerce, convince or threaten these kids to stay silent. And you see that play out over and over again in the files."

    Clark said he represents more than 100 men who as children were in the Boy Scouts, and he estimates that more than 50% of his clients have drug or alcohol problems. At least three of them have committed suicide, he said.

    Tim Kosnoff, an attorney in Seattle, said the abuse allegedly inflicted on the men as boys "has a corrosive effect" in which trust, relationship and sexuality issues develop with adulthood.

    One former Boy Scout represented by Kosnoff, Keith Early, joined the group at 12, recruited by an assistant Scoutmaster who was a married firefighter with three children and led Scout meetings in a church in Washington state.

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    Early, now 18, was sexually abused by the Scout leader while helping build a Boy Scout camp on his 42-acre ranch, he said in an interview with CNN. The assistant Scoutmaster was convicted of abusing Early and another boy and is now serving a prison sentence of 10 years to life.

    "I felt like I was all alone," Early said. "Just thinking about it makes me angry ... because how could you do that to somebody? How could you bring yourself to do that to somebody who is so innocent and has done nothing wrong?"

    The number of files started each year ranged from 25 to 75 at a time when about 5 million Scouts and volunteers were active, according to Warren's report. In most cases, "police, courts and public were aware of the information in the files," and 58% "included information known to the public."

    There were "a small number of files where an alleged offender was allowed back into Scouting after offending," often after psychiatric treatment, "those cases were extraordinarily rare," wrote Warren, who was an expert witness for the Boy Scouts during the court case.

    Tim Hale, a Santa Barbara, California, attorney who's representing allegedly abused Scouts who are now adults, said the released documents could provide information about possible pedophiles.

    "We're talking about hundreds, if not thousands, of unidentified men who should be registered sex offenders who are roaming free in society, free to volunteer with other youth organizations, to work at schools and that sort of thing," Hale said.

    The Boy Scouts disputes that characterization of their files.

    In a September 20 statement released by the Boy Scouts, Warren rebutted the characterization that the documents were "secret files of hidden abuse" by pedophiles.

    "The files show a significant amount of public knowledge of the offenders and their unlawful acts. For example, over 60% of the files being made available to the public include some kind of public information. These public domain sources included newspaper articles, police reports, criminal justice records, and records of civil litigation. The majority of men in the files were arrested at some point in their lives for a sex crime," Warren wrote.

    The files are also "very limited in their ability to answer important research questions about sexual abuse," she said.

    "While some have attempted to categorize these files as a 'treasure trove' of information about pedophiles and their actions, that simply is not the case," Warren said. "These files tell us precisely what researchers already knew, and have known for many years: some small number of men will use a position of trust and access to young people to pursue illegal sexual gratification. This is a sad reality that has been with us throughout human history."

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    The Boy Scouts say they have improved their youth protection policies the past decade and have initiated such practices as third-party, computerized background checks on all new adult volunteers. Also, at least two adults are present at all scouting activities, the group said.

    The Scouts, founded by congressional charter in 1910, instituted character reference checks for Scoutmasters in 1911 and, by the 1920s, began using an ineligible volunteers list deemed not having "the moral, emotional or character values for membership," the group said.

    In June, the Oregon Supreme Court upheld a lower-court decision to release the documents as requested by media outlets.

    "The court had discretion to order, on good cause shown, the release of those documents subject to the redaction of names set out in the exhibits to protect victims of child sexual abuse and reporters of child sexual abuse from embarrassment, retaliation or other harm," the state Supreme Court said in its order. "The court in this case properly exercised that authority."

    The media companies seeking the release of the files were the Associated Press, The Oregonian newspaper in Portland, Oregon Public Broadcasting, KGW (a CNN affiliate), The New York Times and Courthouse News Service.

    Those media outlets intervened in a 2010 lawsuit in Oregon that resulted in the largest judgment against the Scouts in a molestation case.

    That year, an Oregon jury found the Boy Scouts liable for the sexual abuse of a 12-year-old boy more than 25 years earlier, returning a verdict of $18.5 million in punitive damages.

    Catholic bishop convicted of shielding abuser
    The plaintiff, Kerry Lewis, then 38, allowed his name to be used publicly during the trial, according to his attorneys. He was among six men suing the Boy Scouts over allegations of sexual abuse.

    Lewis' attorney, Clark, produced documents during the six-week trial that he said were part of an archive of previously secret Boy Scout files chronicling decades of abuse of boys.

    Clark said that when his clients were boys during the 1980s, the Boy Scouts knew that at least one of them had been abused by a former assistant Scoutmaster. At the time of the 2010 trial, that former assistant Scoutmaster was a 53-year-old convicted sex offender released from prison in 2005 and paroled until 2013.

    Clark also alleged that though the Scout leader was removed, he was allowed to stay on as a volunteer and the abuse continued. In 1983, the assistant Scoutmaster told troop leaders he abused 17 Scouts, according to plaintiff's attorneys.

    In its verdict, the jury held the Boy Scouts of America 60% negligent; the Cascade Pacific Council, which oversees Scouting activities in the region, 15% negligent; and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 25% negligent.

    The church has sponsored a number of Boy Scout troops, including the one to which the plaintiff belonged. A lawyer representing the church said then that the verdict had no impact on the church, because it settled the case out of court more than a year earlier.


  56. Molestation allegations made against B.C. scout leader

    Michael David Henley already pleaded gulity to 7 molestation-related charges

    CBC News Decembeer 4, 2012

    An arrest warrant has been issued for a former Boy Scout leader after two more men came forward alleging they were molested in the 1970s in Lillooet, B.C., CBC News has learned.

    Michael David Henley, 61, is wanted on two counts of indecent assault between 1976 and 1978. The alleged victims’ names are banned from publication.

    Police say Henley’s current whereabouts are unknown.

    One of the men, identified in the arrest warrant only as S.U., told CBC News that Henley molested him on a scout camping trip in 1978.

    “What is their motto? 'Be prepared,' right? Well, how are you supposed to be prepared for a pervert who rapes you?,” S.U. said.

    Henley pleaded guilty to one molestation-related charge in 1994, and to six more counts in 1999. He was sentenced to probation after both trials and did not serve jail time for any of the offences.

    In 2011, CBC News sought court permission to lift a publication ban when one of Henley’s victims said he wanted to speak out and was willing to be publicly identified.

    The man, Christopher Jones, had been nine years old at the time of the offences and too afraid to tell anyone close to him that Henley was abusing him.

    “He used his manipulation of being a scout leader and a teacher to get access to what pedophiles want access to,” Jones said last February.

    Henley had pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting Jones, and later six more male students in another community.

    CBC tracked down Henley in 2011 to a Burnaby apartment building and asked him about his criminal past.

    “It was all historical. The lawsuits were historical. It was all historical,” Henley told reporter Natalie Clancy through his partly opened apartment door.


  57. Scout leader accused of molestations arrested in B.C.

    CBC News December 6, 2012

    A former Boy Scout leader wanted by police following allegations by two B.C. men that he'd molested them as boys in the 1970s has been arrested and released from custody under strict conditions following a court appearance.

    RCMP said Thursday that Michael David Henley, 61, whose last known address was in Burnaby, B.C., had been arrested on a warrant issued in November following the complaints from the two men, who cannot be named.

    One of the men alleged that Henley molested him in 1976, the other man's complaints related to an alleged incident at a Boy Scouts event in 1978. Both incidents were alleged to have occurred in Lillooet, B.C.

    Police did not reveal exactly when the arrest took place, but it's known to have occurred in B.C. sometime after Tuesday. The conditions of his release also were not specified.

    Henley pleaded guilty to one molestation-related charge in 1994, and to six more counts in 1999. He was sentenced to probation after both trials and did not serve jail time for any of the offences.


  58. Delaware man sues Scouts, Mormons in sex abuse case

    By Michael Muskal, Los Angeles Times December 12, 2012

    A Delaware man on Wednesday sued the Boy Scouts and the Mormon Church, charging that he was sexually abused by a scoutmaster, the latest suit to be filed in connection with the scandal that has rocked the youth movement.

    Melvin Novak, 28, announced his suit, filed in Philadelphia, at a news conference. In his complaint, Novak alleges that pedophiles were involved in scouting for decades, as demonstrated when the Boy Scouts of America in October released confidential documents -- known as the “perversion files” -- that list 1,200 alleged abusers who were weeded out of the organization between 1959 and 1985.

    In recent months, the Los Angeles Times published an investigation of those files and thousands of case summaries from 1940 to 2005. The files and summaries were obtained from Seattle attorney Timothy Kosnoff, who has sued the Scouts on behalf of dozens of abuse victims.

    According to Novak, the Scouts had appointed Vance Hein to be a scoutmaster of one of its Chester County troops. Hein, who had moved to Chester County from California, was a trusted family friend and leader at the Mormon church that Novak attended as a boy, Novak said.

    While a scoutmaster, Hein sexually assaulted Novak, then 14. Novak said he was abused at Hein's home, on a trip to Canada, at parks, campsites and other locations.

    Novak claimed that Hein told him he was introducing him into a “special brotherhood” and used gifts and other incentives to persuade Novak to keep it a secret. Novak says he told his parents about the abuse in 1999.

    Hein was prosecuted and pleaded guilty to the offenses against Novak in 1999. He was sentenced to 15 years of probation and was recently convicted of violating that probation by having child pornography on his computer and is serving 15 to 30 years in prison.

    “This guy is still worshiped by people in that church today,” Novak said at the news conference. “Their kids' lives are changed while mine was screwed up. Nobody had any idea. My parents had no idea. In their eyes, he was helping me in scouting, computers, college, everything. To them he was a positive influence. They had no idea it was a hoax just to abuse me.”
    Novak said he is suing the Mormon Church because it failed to conduct a background check before Hein was hired. Now living in Newark, Del., Novak said he has left the Mormons, formally known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    “My childhood just fell apart,” he said. “I guess you could classify me as a quitter. I never finished after that what I started. I never finished college. I finished high school, but only through a home schooling program after not graduating with my class.”

    Novak said he abused substances for about five years as well.

    The Boy Scouts have acknowledged that there were incidents of abuse.

    In an October statement, the Boy Scouts' national president, Wayne Perry, stressed the organization’s enhanced child-protection efforts in recent years, including beefed-up background checks and training of leaders and mandatory reporting of all suspected abuse.

    "There have been instances where people misused their positions in Scouting to abuse children, and in certain cases, our response to these incidents and our efforts to protect youth were plainly insufficient, inappropriate, or wrong," Perry stated. "Where those involved in Scouting failed to protect, or worse, inflicted harm on children, we extend our deepest and sincere apologies to victims and their families."


  59. A First Look at the Boy Scouts (Or: When You’re on a Good Thing, Stick to It)

    by Lewis Blayse, Commentary on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Australia)
    February 16, 2013


    What is unique about the Australian royal commission is that it will investigate both religious and non-religious organisations. The same methods have been used in both situations to protect their assets and reputations by protecting offenders. Here, the Boy Scouts of Australia (BSA) is examined for using tactics more well-known for the Catholic Church.

    Firstly, there is the attempt to minimise the crime. When Gregory John Kench, a South Australian Scout leader was sentenced to 6 years’ prison, his lawyer said he, “was a caring and compassionate man who allowed his fondness for the boys to overstep the mark.” The judge, however, said the boys had been traumatised.

    Next, there is the tactic of giving the public the impression that reports of frequency of abuse are exaggerated. In 1995, the Scout association complained to the Press Council over negative stereotyping in the media arising from reports on the sexual abuse of children.

    Then there is the good old tactic of not reporting offenders to police, but just moving the offender to another location. Convicted Scout paedophile, Steven “Skip” Larkins, had been reported to scouting administrators in the early to mid 1990s. The officials took years to, “officially suspend him”, and in the interim, allowed him to attending Scouting events.

    In 1997, a report was made to police by a whistleblower about Larkins, after which the Scouts association promised to remove him from any contact with children. However, later Larkins was observed taking a group of Scouts to the Dreamworld theme park. Scouting Australia justified this because, “Larkins had been promised a trip.” It was noted that Scouting rules at the time allowed Larkins to move to another local group, which he did.

    Scout leader, Paul Hayes, also known by his Scouting name, “Grisly”, was accused of molesting eight boys over a two-year period in Canberra and Sydney, but was not reported to police. In the early 1980s, he was accused of raping a 10-year-old boy after a performance of the Scouting production known as “The Gang Show”.

    Following Hayes’ denial, he was suspended for only six weeks, and within months, was appointed leader of the troupe in a Scout hall in Sydney, having moved from Canberra.

    continued in next comment...

  60. The final and serious tactic borrowed from the religious institutions was to put pressure on whistleblowers and victims alike. In the Larkins case, whistleblower, Mr Hoitink, said he was admonished by a Scout official for not contacting the Scout association first and letting them handle it.

    In the Hayes case, one member of the investigating committee tried to discredit the victim by claiming that the boy had close relatives who were homosexual. Instead of referring the Hayes case to police, the committee decided to seek legal advice. This advice included the statement that, “it seems your association has done all you should in the circumstances … I have a sneaking suspicion that Mr Hayes has been cleverly exploited.”

    It worked well for the Catholic Church and it is so far working well for the Boy Scouts of Australia, so why change tactics, hey?

    Read more here:









    TOMORROW: Australia’s own “perversion files”

  61. Australias Own Perversion Files (Or: The Benefits of Cultural Exchanges)

    by Lewis Blayse Commentary on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Australia)


    In the past couple of years, US activists have forced Boy Scouts of America to release files it kept on suspected paedophiles in the organisation. It took lengthy and expensive court battles to reach that point. Clearly, Boy Scouts of America had been doing there exactly what Scouting Australia has been doing here – protecting the guilty and allowing them to re-offend. These records were known within the US organisation as the “Perversion Files”.

    The Scouts in Australia kept similar files from the 1960s to the 1990s according to the former CEO of Scouting Australia NSW branch, Peter Olah, and former district and regional commissioner, Des Hocking. Here, the files were known as “Behavioural” and unofficial “Red” files.

    Despite these revelations, Scouts NSW still claims it does not have such files. Fortunately, the extreme powers granted to a royal commission means that, if the files exist, they will be seized without the need for court cases. The chief commissioner has already highlighted his intention to fully use this particular power. Failure to hand over documents, or any attempts to destroy them, will attract particularly harsh penalties.

    The point of these comparisons is that sometimes an offender will move not just to another state, but another country. This is particularly the case for the Catholic Church which might move a Filipino priest to Australia and an Australian priest to the Philippines as the above cartoon suggests. Many organisations from the US and the UK have branches in Australia, so files obtained here may give warnings for the parent organisations.

    There is one case concerning the Scouts movement which makes this point crystal clear. Recently, one Mr Zirus was arrested at the San Antonio Airport in Texas as he was about to return to his home in Perth, Australia. He has since been sentenced to 40 years in prison, with a non-parole period of 20 years, for assaults on boys at Camp Stewart in Texas. On completion of his sentence, he will be deported to his native Australia.

    Before he went to the US, according to charges by Western Australian authorities, Zirus abused at least four boys in Perth. He will be charged when he eventually returns to Australia. The question remains – did local officials know of his behaviour, and, if so, did they alert their US counterparts? Perhaps the royal commission will find an answer to this question.

    Countries which have states have long realised that they need to use federal powers to tackle cross-border crimes. Currently, NSW, Queensland and Victoria have enquiries into some aspects of child sexual abuse, but it is precisely this problem which has resulted in the overarching federal royal commission.

    Now it is necessary in a globalised world to consider transnational hurdles. What someone does one week in Brooklyn he could be doing in Melbourne the next week. Australia is a small country with a population about the same as Texas (albeit in several times the area) and should accept advice and submissions from people in other countries.

    To this end, the head of the Irish enquiry into child sexual abuse, Mr Justice Sean Ryan, has already been giving the benefit of his experience to the Australian government. Hopefully, many more such people will also help us during the three years the royal commission is due to run. In return, we can give them copies of documentation and evidence obtained under the extensive powers of the royal commission which could prove useful to concerned people in many other countries.

    Read more here:



    TOMORROW:Why is nothing much happening yet?

  62. Priest faces seven child porn charges in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec

    56-year-old priest worked with church youth group and boy scouts

    CBC News March 8, 2013

    A priest in Sorel-Tracy, Que., has been charged with seven counts related to the possession and distribution of child pornography.

    The bail hearing for Daniel Moreau, 56, was originally scheduled for today, but has been moved to Monday, March 11 at 2 p.m. at the Sorel-Tracy courthouse.

    He’s facing three charges of possession of child pornography, one charge of possession with intent to distribute, one charge for accessing, one charge for distribution and one for production.

    The Diocese of St-Hyacinthe acknowledged Moreau's charges in a statement released on Friday.

    "We deplore and condemn the fact that such acts may have been committed," said Jean Marc Robillard, vicar general of the diocese.

    "We understand the distress that such an event can cause within the entire community of Sorel-Tracy, as well as among all those who knew him through his ministry."

    Following diocese policy, the priest has been automatically relieved of his duties and is no longer permitted to exercise his pastoral ministry.

    Moreau led worship at the Ste-Anne, St-Joseph and St-Pierre parishes.

    "I never expected something like this," said local resident Mathieu Vallée.

    Moreau baptized Vallée's son last November.

    "I find it sad, for both the parish and its followers," another resident said.

    Moreau's resumé, which was posted on the parish website but has since been pulled down, lists his work as a scout and church youth group leader. Moreau is also cited as the webmaster for the Montenach de Beloeil scouts group.

    He was immediately suspended from les Aventuriers de Baden-Powell, a scouts group, as well.

    Quebec provincial police arrested Moreau on Thursday at his presbytery on Du Roi Street in Sorel-Tracy.

    Sgt. Daniel Thibodeau said investigators were tipped off about Moreau by another police force.

    Officers seized several computers, which are still being analyzed.

    It’s possible Moreau will be charged with further counts after all the evidence has been processed.

    Moreau's lawyer says he will enter a plea of not guilty. The Crown says it plans to oppose his release on bail.


  63. Boy Scouts agree to release perversion files

    By Guillermo Contreras, Staff Writer San Antonio Express News May 2, 2013

    The Boy Scouts of America said Thursday it will release to attorneys 10 years of confidential files it uses to keep pedophile suspects from becoming troop leaders or volunteers.

    The decision comes after the 4th Court of Appeals in San Antonio denied an appeal from the BSA to keep the files sealed.

    “Youth protection is of paramount importance to the Boy Scouts of America,” BSA spokesman Deron Smith said in an email.
    “We are thankful the court reviewed this matter and will comply with its order.”

    No timetable for release of so-called “perversion files” — files of troop leaders or volunteers accused of sexual abuse of Scouts — was given, but the BSA has 30 days to comply.

    In an order in August, state District Judge Martha Tanner ordered hundreds of pages of internal BSA documents from the mid-1980s through 2011 released.

    But state District Judge Laura Salinas later modified that order after Tanner retired, and said only files from 1996 through 2006 should be released to plaintiff's attorneys.

    Salinas also ordered that the names be redacted of people who reported the alleged sexual abuse and victims under age 18.

    As part of the order, Salinas also specified that information “shall be kept confidential and the material produced shall be shared only with the attorneys of record, their experts and their staff in this case, each of whom shall agree to confidentiality.”

    The BSA appealed, arguing the organization shouldn't have to release the files, because keeping them confidential would encourage victims to come forward.

    “I think other courts have ordered them to produce these files also,” said attorney Pat Maloney Jr., who represents a former Scout who sued the BSA, its local chapter and an ex-Scout leader over sexual abuse. “It's a big appellate victory for those who have been abused in the Boy Scout system to find out how widespread the abuse is.”

    The Irving-based BSA last summer lost a similar battle in the courts in Oregon, and thousands of pages of Ineligible Volunteer files, also known as “perversion files,” from 1965 through 1985 were released and made headlines across the country. Other courts in California and Minnesota, for instance, have also ruled against the BSA.

    Some of the files named former volunteers or troop leaders in Bexar County and throughout Texas.

    The released files contain unsubstantiated allegations and names of people who reported wrongdoing, names of juveniles who alleged sexual assaults, and the names of accused men who were never charged.

    Maloney and his co-counsel with an Oregon law firm seek the files to use as evidence in the lawsuit alleging Scoutmaster James Hiatt sexually abused a 12-year-old boy in 2004 and 2005.

    Hiatt was once a scoutmaster with Troop 41 in San Antonio and was convicted in a 2008 criminal case of sexually abusing the boy. Hiatt was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

    The suit alleges Hiatt used his authority and position of trust to force the boy to engage in sexual acts. The suit also accuses the Boy Scouts of knowing that pedophiles wanted jobs and volunteer positions within their organization.

    The organization denies the allegations.

    Maloney said he expects the lawsuit might go to trial later this year.


  64. Boy Scouts, Mormon Church sued in Idaho pedophile case

    By Laura Zuckerman, Reuters June 25, 2013

    SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - Four men sued the Boy Scouts of America and its largest sponsor, the Mormon Church, on Monday accusing both organizations of failing to protect them from sexual abuse by adult volunteers when they were children at scouting activities in Idaho.

    Three of the men said they were abused as members of Boy Scout troops affiliated with the Utah-based church, two of them by a scout leader previously identified as a molester in a complaint brought by a parent.

    The fourth plaintiff belonged to a troop sponsored by a chapter of the Elk Club, which was not named as a defendant in the suit.

    All the cases of abuse alleged in the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Boise, the state capital, occurred in the early 1980s and 1970s, when the plaintiffs ranged in age from 12 to 14.

    Two of the three accused abusers in the lawsuit - both of whom were linked with the Mormon-sponsored troops - were later convicted of sex crimes against children and are now living as registered sex offenders, court records show.

    The lawsuit is the latest in a torrent of court cases in numerous states accusing the Boy Scouts of failing to provide adequate safeguards against pedophiles using the organization to prey on children whose parents were led to believe scouting was safe.

    Mounting litigation against the Texas-based Boy Scouts has tarnished the wholesome image of a century-old, largely volunteer organization, which prides itself on building good character, citizenship and fitness among its 2.7 million members, mostly boys aged 8 to 17.

    The Mormon Church, formally known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has been implicated in several such lawsuits. The church required or strongly encouraged boys in the faith to take part in scouts, and for men to volunteer as scout leaders, according to Monday's suit.

    The Boy Scouts of America and Mormon Church both declined in separate statements to comment on pending litigation. Both organizations have said they have taken new measures in recent decades to prevent child sexual abuse within their ranks.

    An Oregon court last year forced the Boy Scouts to publicly release 20,000 pages of confidential records, dubbed the "perversion files," documenting suspected or confirmed sexual abuse by the group's leaders and volunteers.

    One of the alleged abusers named in Monday's suit was only added to the perversion files four years after a scout's mother told scout and church officials her son was abused by him, and another was listed the same year a Mormon-led troop hired him to do graphic design work, the lawsuit claims.

    The four plaintiffs, named in the suit only as "John Does I-IV," are seeking undisclosed monetary damages.

    (Editing by Steve Gorman and Lisa Shumaker)


  65. Scouts Canada volunteer, lifeguard accused of sex assault

    Scott Stanley, 30, of Ottawa was also a swim coach at Goulbourn Recreation Complex

    CBC News July 26, 2013

    Ottawa police have charged a current City of Ottawa lifeguard, who is also a former Scouts Canada volunteer and former swim coach, with several sex offences in relation to three boys under 16 years old.

    Police have charged Scott Stanley, 30, of Ottawa after arresting him Thursday.

    They said the incidents happened in 2012 and 2013 involving three boys while Stanley was a volunteer with Scouts Canada.

    No information has been released to connect any of the charges to Stanley's work as a lifeguard and acquatics supervisor at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex pool.

    There is also no connection to his work as a swim coach with the Goulbourn Sea Hawks, which is also based at that west Ottawa pool. Stanley's contract as coach was not renewed this year, a spokesperson told CBC News.

    Stanley faces 18 charges in total:

    6 counts of sexual assault.
    6 counts of sexual interference with a person under 16.
    3 counts of invitation to sexual touching for person under 16.
    1 count of telecommunication with a person under 14 for a specific criminal offence.
    2 counts of telecommunication with a person under 16 for a specific criminal offence.

    Held in custody until bail hearing

    He appeared in court Friday morning and he will be held in custody over the weekend, appearing for a full-day bail hearing at 9:30 a.m. Monday.

    The CBC's Ryan Gibson, who was in court for the appearance, described Stanley as standing six feet tall with a husky build. He also had short brown hair and wore glasses and a graphic green t-shirt that read, "I'm not a hippie, I just hike a lot."

    He also required an inhaler for asthma.

    Stanley is not allowed to contact anyone under 18 years old, including victims and witnesses in the case.

    Suspended without pay

    Anyone with information on further incidents is asked to call Ottawa police at 613-236-1222, ext. 5944 or Crime Stoppers at 613-233-8477.

    The City of Ottawa refused to comment on the charges because the case remains under a police investigation. They did say Stanley has been suspended without pay and city officials are cooperating with the investigation.

    Staff at the Goulbourn pool did confirm they knew of the charges, but they also refused to comment.

    Stanley does not have any prior criminal charges on his record, which is expected since he had to pass a record check with Scouts Canada and the City of Ottawa.

    Scouts Canada has faced its fair share of criticism in regards to sexual abuse allegations. That was the focus of an investigation by the CBC's Fifth Estate in 2011.


  66. The Royal Commission Announces Public Hearings (Or: Who Let This Happen?)

    by Lewis Blayse, Commentary on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Australia)

    August 15, 2013 http://lewisblayse.net/2013/08/15/the-royal-commission-announces-public-hearings-or-who-let-this-happen/

    The Australian Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse has announced its first public hearings will commence on 16th September, in Sydney. It will consider the case of convicted paedophile, Steven Larkins (pictured above), with a particular focus on why he was able to operate for at least 20 years, despite knowledge of his tendencies by Scouts Australia, during his time with the organisation.

    [The head of Scouts Australia is Governor-General, Quentin Bryce (see previous posting).]

    It will also consider the role played by government agencies, including the NSW government’s Department of Community Services, which has responsibility for children taken into the care of the State. This particularly involves the “Working With Children” checks, which have already been the subject of calls for submissions by the Royal Commission.

    The hearings are expected to run for about one week. People who want to have leave to appear at the hearings, have until 26th. August to make a written application via the Royal Commission’s web-site.

    Larkins began his offending career with Scouts Australia in the 1990s (see previous posting at http://lewisblayse.net/2013/02/16/a-first-look-at-the-boy-scouts-or-when-youre-on-a-good-thing-stick-to-it/). He then went on to head the Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services, which operates in the Newcastle area. The service receives millions in NSW government grants to foster “at-risk” and “troubled” aboriginal youth. This system was meant to replace the old institutional care system for such youth (see previous postings on Kinchela and Cootamundra children’s homes).

    With regards to the Scouts Australia connection, Larkins pleaded guilty last year to committing indecent acts against a boy aged 11 in 1992 and another boy aged 12 in 1997, but only received good behaviour bonds. One of these incidents had been investigated by police in the 1990s but no charges were laid. Australian Scouting authorities were alerted to Larkins’ suspected paedophile behaviour in the early to mid-1990s.

    Because of the scouts problem, Larkins was ineligible to work with children. This week, the NSW Department of Community Services admitted it failed to follow standard procedure and tell the board or any other managers at the Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services (HACS) of its adverse findings. Instead, Larkins alone was informed of his classification, which allowed him to forge a document showing he had obtained clearance to work unsupervised with children, and which was placed in his personnel file.

    Larkins was charged, convicted and sentenced to 10 months prison for this fraud.

    A spokeswoman for the Department said: ”Standard procedure was to send correspondence on the working with children check to the employer and, where the chief executive officer was the applicant, to the board. This was not done in this case. Community Services acknowledges and regrets this error.” Larkins had overseen $5 million in NSW taxpayer funding and was paid a base salary of $86,000 p.a.

    continued below

  67. Larkins was also chairman of the Melbourne-based Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAIIC), which is the peak national body for Aboriginal child protection services. At the time, the organisation received a $3 million federal grant. Federal Families Minister, Jenny Macklin, when awarding the grant, said that “SNAICC is an important initiative that provides the evidence-base for expanding Indigenous children’s life chances.”

    SNAICC is a member of the Coalition of Organisations Committed to the Safety and Wellbeing of Australia’s Children, which is helping the Australian Government to develop the National Child Protection Framework. At the SNAIIC-sponsored National Aboriginal and Islander Children’s Day, Larkins announced the theme was “Good Child Protection: We Do It Together.” Larkins said his organisation, Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services, aimed to double the number of children it supported.

    Larkins lost his positions when child pornography was found in his possession. For faking his child-protection checks, and possessing the pornography, he was sentenced to a maximum of 22 months, with the non-parole period reduced from 19 months to 15 months on appeal. The assault charges regarding the boys received a suspended sentence.

    In a related matter, police are investigating the possibility of a paedophile ring associated with Larkins. This is because of paedophile foster-carer, Robert Holland, who died in Long Bay prison after being convicted of nearly 100 offences against 19 children in his care, over nearly 40 years. The children had been placed in his care by the NSW Children’s Court and the NSW State government.

    Holland was found to have a uniform and ID tag from Larkins’ Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services, despite not working for it.

    At the time of his arrest, Larkins had “parental responsibility” for 19 Aboriginal children. This meant that Larkins had complete control over the children, including allowing him to take them into his home alone. The NSW Department of Community Services has admitted the practice of awarding parental responsibility to an executive of a non-government organisation ”was not usual practice”, and was banned in 2009.

    It is encouraging that the first issue to be considered by the Royal Commission at public hearings will be why Dracula was placed in charge of the blood-bank.

    [Postscript: Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox spoke at the launch of book “Unholy Trinity” by former Victorian detective Denis Ryan and author Peter Hoysted (see previous posting) yesterday.]

    Read more here:











  68. Ex-scout leader David Wolfes delayed sentencing upsets victim

    Halifax man pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting 3 N.B. boys in 1960s

    CBC News January 06, 2014

    The delayed sentencing of a former New Brunswick scout leader on three sex-related charges dating back to the 1960s has left one of his victims disappointed.

    David Wolfe, 68, who pleaded guilty last month to three counts of indecent assault involving young males, was scheduled to be sentenced in Moncton provincial court on Monday.

    But his defence lawyer was sick and no one was there to represent Wolfe, who now lives in Halifax and was not present.

    A new sentencing date will be set on Jan. 28.

    Victim Richard Dutkiewicz, who attended court with his daughter, said he may not live long enough to see Wolfe sentenced.

    Dutkiewicz said he has stage four cancer and doesn't know how long he can expect to live.

    There is some consolation, however, in that Wolfe is on record as being guilty of the three assaults, which took place between January 1964 and June 1967 in the Moncton area, Dutkiewicz said.

    The charges against Wolfe came after Dutkiewicz went public with his story in 2011.

    Dutkiewicz said he was repeatedly assaulted by Wolfe in the mid-1960s, when Wolfe was an assistant scout master. He went to police after he saw an investigative series by CBC News on sexual abuse within Scouts Canada.

    Wolfe's two other victims came forward a short time later.

    The investigation by CBC-TV's the fifth estate revealed that scout leaders abused about 340 children from the 1940s until present.

    It also found that Scouts Canada kept a "confidential list" of pedophiles barred from the organization and had also signed confidentiality agreements with child sex abuse victims.

    About two months after the documentary aired, Scouts Canada issued a blanket apology to any former scouts who had been sexually abused by the group's volunteer leaders.

    The youth organization also announced it had hired an outside company to review its past records and appointed an expert panel to examine whether its current child protection policies are working.


  69. Ex-scout leader David Wolfe pleads guilty to fourth sex charge

    Wolfe, 68, of Halifax, to be sentenced March 21 on four counts of indecent assault against N.B. boys

    CBC News March 05, 2014

    Former New Brunswick scout leader David Wolfe has pleaded guilty to a fourth sex-related charge dating back to the 1960s.

    Wolfe, 68, who now lives in Halifax, made a brief appearance in Moncton provincial court on Wednesday, dressed in a suit and tie.

    He pleaded guilty to indecent assault involving a boy in the Port Elgin area between 1962 and 1964.

    Wolfe had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent assault involving young males in the Moncton area between 1964 and 1967.

    He will be sentenced on all four charges on March 21.

    The Crown and defence plan to make a joint recommendation on sentencing, the courtroom heard.

    A sentencing hearing was expected to be held on Wednesday, but the court has not yet received a victim impact from the latest victim and the defence wants Wolfe be sentenced for all four charges at the same time.

    The latest victim came forward in January, after Wolfe pleaded guilty to the other charges.

    Codiac Regional RCMP charged Wolfe in 2012 after the first victim, Richard Dutkiewicz, went public with his story.

    Dutkiewicz told CBC News he was repeatedly assaulted by Wolfe in the mid-1960s, when Wolfe was an assistant scout master. He said the abuse — oral sex — occurred at Wolfe's home, not far from West Riverview School, where the scout meetings were held.

    Dutkiewicz said he suffered years of shame and guilt, which cost him his 27-year marriage and strained his relationship with his three children.

    He only went to police in 2011, after he saw an investigative series by CBC News on sexual abuse within Scouts Canada.

    The investigation by CBC-TV's the fifth estate revealed that scout leaders abused about 340 children from the 1940s until present.

    It also found that Scouts Canada kept a "confidential list" of pedophiles barred from the organization and had also signed confidentiality agreements with child sex abuse victims.

    About two months after the documentary aired, Scouts Canada issued a blanket apology to any former scouts who had been sexually abused by the group's volunteer leaders.

    The youth organization also announced it had hired an outside company to review its past records and appointed an expert panel to examine whether its current child protection policies are working.

    Police located Wolfe at the Dartmouth Seniors' Service Centre in Nova Scotia, where there was a picture of him on the website as the centre's treasurer, according to Dutkiewicz.


  70. Ex-scout leader David Wolfe sentenced to 2 years for sex crimes

    Decades-old case shows other molesters time won't protect them from their evil deeds, victim says

    CBC News March 21, 2014

    Former New Brunswick scout leader David Wolfe has been sentenced to two years in prison for sex-related charges involving four boys decades ago.

    Wolfe, 70, who now lives in Halifax, was sentenced in Moncton provincial court on Friday.

    He previously pleaded guilty to four counts of indecent assault, dating back to the 1960s, when he was an assistant scout master in the Riverview area.

    Wolfe declined to comment before being led away by sheriff's deputies.

    One of the victims, who was in court to read his victim impact statement aloud, said he is happy with the sentence and that two years is a longer sentence than he expected.

    The man, whose name is protected by a publication ban imposed on Friday, said the case also shows other molesters that time will not protect them from their "evil deeds."

    "There is justice, no matter how long it takes, if you can have the courage to come forward, then justice will be done."

    He thanked the other victims for coming forward and asked them to forgive him for opening old wounds.

    "I urge other people to come forward who are holding what they might feel is shame … because it's their time now."

    Still, he says the victory is bittersweet because he will never be the same. "What was taken from us will never be brought back. What I've lost, what they've lost, will never be regained."

    He spoke about the "living hell" of being a distant, uncaring father because he was scared of turning into a monster.

    His marriage fell apart and he eventually spent two months in a psychiatric ward before he finally opened up about his experiences.

    Another victim, who also can't be named, told the court his assault ripped his innocence away.

    He tried to bury it for years, he said, but always worried about his own sons and got involved in their sports and scouting lives to look out for them.

    He told his wife about his abuse six years ago and decided to go to the police after the first victim went public.

    The man said he hopes that Wolfe's conviction will give all of the victims closure.

    continued below

  71. He plans to put it all behind him, realizing now that it wasn't his fault, he said.

    A third victim impact statement, read by the judge, described a life ruined by alcoholism, while the fourth victim said in his statement he still has suicidal thoughts daily.

    Wolfe abused as youth

    Judge Irwin Lampert said it is unusual to have a case before the courts when the offences happened so long ago — 50-plus years.

    He sentenced Wolfe to two years on each count, to be served concurrently, based on a joint recommendation of the Crown and defence.

    Wolfe's name will also be on the national sex offender registry for 10 years.

    Lampert said he considered several substantial mitigating factors in imposing the sentence, including the fact that Wolfe suffers from a heart condition and has already experienced the punishment of the case being publicized.

    In addition, it was Wolfe's first offence, the incidents occurred when Wolfe was in his early 20s and there are no suggestions the behaviour carried into his later life, and his guilty pleas saved the victims from "the horror" of reliving that time in their lives, Lampert said.

    The judge also noted that Wolfe was a victim of sexual assault himself as a young person.

    Wolfe's latest victim came forward in January, after Wolfe pleaded guilty to the other charges.

    The first victim went to Codiac Regional RCMP in 2011, after he saw an investigative series by CBC News on sexual abuse within Scouts Canada.

    The investigation by CBC-TV's the fifth estate revealed that scout leaders abused about 340 children from the 1940s until present.

    It also found that Scouts Canada kept a "confidential list" of pedophiles barred from the organization and had also signed confidentiality agreements with child sex abuse victims.

    About two months after the documentary aired, Scouts Canada issued a blanket apology to any former scouts who had been sexually abused by the group's volunteer leaders.

    The youth organization also announced it had hired an outside company to review its past records and appointed an expert panel to examine whether its current child protection policies are working.


  72. Boy Scouts settle sex abuse lawsuit before 'perversion files' are opened

    By AMANDA COVARRUBIAS, Los Angleles Times January 29, 2015

    The Boy Scouts of America announced Thursday that it had settled a lawsuit brought by the family of a Santa Barbara County man who was molested by a volunteer Scout leader in 2007.

    The family of the victim, now 20, sued the Boy Scouts, alleging the organization was negligent in its handling of the matter.

    A judge ruled earlier this month that the plaintiffs could use the Scouts’ secret “perversion files," which outline years of molestation claims and incidents, as evidence in the trial, a ruling that opened the door to possible public release of the files.

    “We regret there have been times when the BSA’s best efforts to protect children were insufficient, and for that we extend our deepest apologies to victims and their families,” officials with the Boy Scouts said in a statement Thursday.

    The lawsuit stemmed from a 2007 incident involving volunteer Scout leader Al Steven Stein, then 29, who was charged with abusing the 13-year-old Scout and two other boys.

    Stein pleaded no contest to a felony child-endangerment charge. He was placed on five years' probation but violated it by having photos of nude children stored on his cellphone. He was sentenced to two years in prison but was paroled early and is now registered as a sex offender in Salinas.

    Scout officials said they could not disclose terms of the settlement. The victim’s attorney could not be reached for comment.

    “While we can’t comment on the specifics related to this matter, even a single instance of child victimization or abuse is intolerable and unacceptable,” the organization said in a statement.

    In regard to the perversion files, also known as the Ineligible Volunteer Files, Scout officials said “the behavior in these reports runs counter to everything for which the BSA stands.”

    “Nothing is more important than the safety of our youth members,” they said. “The Ineligible Volunteer Files exist solely to keep out individuals whose actions are inconsistent with the standards of Scouting, and Scouts are safer because those files exist.”

    They also said the Scouts’ national council reviewed all the files from 1965 to the present and reported to law enforcement any incidents that had not already been reported.



    BY CHRIS JOSEPH, New Times Broward-Palm Beach AUGUST 20, 2015

    In 1983, a young Boy Scout met with two of his scout leaders and some other scouts at TY Park in Hollywood. The boy, now a 40-year-old man, says the scoutmasters gave him and other scouts alcohol, showed them pornography, and had them run around naked. The scoutmasters eventually molested the boys, the victim says, during scouting events and even in the scoutmasters' homes. The various incidents of sexual abuse alleged by the victim are all detailed in a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America and the South Florida Council of Boy Scouts of America. The lawsuit also goes on to say that the Boy Scouts of America knew about the scoutmasters' abuse and covered it up to protect them and the organization.

    But Miami-Dade Judge Jose M. Rodriguez of the 11th Judicial Circuit recently ruled that the Boy Scouts of America must turn over documents that detail incidents of sexual abuse.

    Those internal files, which at one point were known as the "Perversion Files," had records of adult scout leaders who had been accused of sexual abuse by scouts. Since the 1980s, the Boy Scouts of America have been fighting to keep these records from being obtained and made public.

    The victim in the Florida lawsuit, identified as GE DOE, says that his encounter at TY Park happened when he was only 8 years old, sometime in either 1983 or 1984.

    “The TY Park incident was the beginning of me realizing something wasn’t right with this, but you repress it and you don’t say things because it’s a scout leader and you’re 8 years old,” he said via NBCMiami. “My only regret is that the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution has since expired.”

    The GE DOE lawsuit was originally filed in 2014, but the Boy Scouts of America again filed for confidentiality to keep their files sealed even though, as the lawsuit states, the Boy Scouts of America knew that the scoutmasters were "engaging in inappropriate relations with boys and/or had a propensity to engage in sexual misconduct." The lawsuit goes on to say the organization "did nothing" to prevent the men from abusing the boys they were entrusted to lead.

    However, in Rodriguez's ruling to deny confidentiality, the judge says, "Since child abuse thrives in secrecy, there is a compelling interest in producing these files as it increases transparency on the potential mishandling of sex abuse claims. A society interested in protecting children from criminal assaults would not reasonably leave to the discretion of a children’s social club the disclosure of information regarding criminal assaults on children.”

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  74. Meanwhile the Boy Scouts of Americas communications director, Deron Smith, released a statement regarding GE DOE's lawsuit, saying, “While we can’t discuss the lawsuit, the behavior included in these allegations runs counter to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America stands."

    Smith goes on to say that in the decades since the victim says he was abused, the Boy Scouts of America have consulted with experts from law enforcement, child safety, and psychology to protect their scouts.

    "Today, the BSA seeks to prevent child abuse through a comprehensive program of education on the subject, the chartered organization leader selection process, criminal background and other checks, policies and procedures to serve as barriers to abuse and the prompt mandatory reporting of any allegation or suspicion of abuse,” Smith added.

    David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, says the ruling to deny the Boy Scout's request to keep their files confidential will make kids safer and deter child sex crimes and cover-ups.

    "For far too long, our court system has seemingly valued the privacy of adults over the safety of kids. Ever so gradually, this trend is being reversed, and not a moment too soon," Clohessy says in an email statement. "We hope the disclosure of these files will prompt others who were sexually assaulted by Scout officials to come forward, expose predators, protect kids, and start healing. And we hope this ruling will prod other employers and institutions to 'come clean' about child sex crimes and cover-ups, since it’s increasingly clear, as Martin Luther King said, that 'no lie lives forever.'"

    GE DOE says he has suffered emotional and psychological injuries as a result of the abuse, according to the lawsuit. He is seeking damages in excess of $15,000.

    read the court decision at:


  75. Top French Cardinal Hid Scouts Pedophile Scandal

    One of France's most prominent cardinals knew about a pedophile priest abusing young Catholic Scouts—and now the alleged cover-up will be tried in secular courts.

    by Barbie Latza Nadeau, The Daily Beast March 12, 2016

    ROME — For all those who say that the Catholic Church is doing all it can on clerical child sex abuse—namely the Vatican press office—there is yet another reason to doubt those lofty words. Meet the Archbishop of Lyon, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, who has denied he did anything wrong by hiding the well-known fact that Father Bernard Preynat was sexually abusing as many as 40 Catholic Scouts in France in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

    Preynat was relieved of his duties in the parish of Roanne in 2015 after admitting to the sex abuse. He was indicted on Jan. 27 on charges of “sexual abuse and rape of minors” and has admitted his crimes to the police.

    The 45 Scout victims who lodged the complaint that led to Preynat’s arrest share horrifically similar stories of abuse. “He would say ‘tell me you love me’. And then he would say ‘you're my little boy,’ ‘it’s our secret, you mustn’t tell anyone,’” one of Preynat’s victims said, according to criminal trial reports.

    A victim named Pierre-Emmanuel Germain-Thill described to Euronews how the priest preyed on the young boys. “What shocked me the most was when he tried to put his tongue in my mouth. He stroked my genitals, I couldn’t avoid it,” Germain-Thill said, according to press reports.

    “I wanted to run away, and at the same time, I didn’t know what to do, I was afraid that if I left that room, nobody would believe me.”

    Another victim, Bertrand Virieux, told Euronews, “I remember the smell of sweat, I remember contact with clothes. I remember his wandering hands under my shirt, which held me tightly against him.”

    Meanwhile, Cardinal Barbarin is facing criminal charges by a French secular court for “failing to report a crime” and “endangering the life of others,” which could carry a three-year prison sentence and fines up to €45,000. He maintains that he shouldn’t be accused at all because he eventually removed Preynat from parish work.

    Never mind that the removal came nearly 15 years after his crimes were made known. After victims and their families came forward in 1991, Preynat was removed him from parish duties for six months by the then-archbishop, who is now deceased. Yet despite having confessed to the crimes, Preynat was allowed to return to his active duties after he repented, meaning he had access to children despite admitting to being a pedophilic sex offender.

    When Barbarin was appointed as archbishop, he even promoted the errant priest to an administrative position in 2007 where he was in charge of six dioceses filled with children, according to court documents quoted in the French press.

    Barbarin, who is well liked in France despite his harsh stance against gay marriage (which he once predicted would pave the way to legalized incest), removed Preynat from the priesthood last August when secular authorities got involved—25 years after his crimes had first emerged.

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  76. The cardinal is now arguing that he should not be criminally charged because he was not archbishop at the time of Preynat’s crimes, and that he did eventually remove the priest from active duty. But it is not enough to remove an errant priest from a parish or even defrock him, argue victims groups. David Clohessy, head of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), says any child sex-abuse offender should be turned over to secular authorities immediately and should be remanded in prison whether they wear a clerical collar or not.

    “Hundreds of bishops have been publicly exposed as having protected predators, endangered kids, deceiving parishioners, misleading police, destroying evidence, intimidating victims, threatening whistleblowers, and discrediting witnesses and suffer no consequences,” Clohessy told The Daily Beast.

    The Vatican has always rightly maintained that pedophiles are not restricted to the priesthood. But the difference has always been that abusers in every other sector, from education to medicine, almost always immediately face secular court justice. There are no other professional institutions that systematically hide predators from authorities to the same extent the Catholic Church does.
    As the Oscar-winning film Spotlight showed, the complicity of not only the clerics but often the entire community—under pressure from the powerful Catholic churches that support community activities and run schools—is why the cycle is still so hard to break, despite the Vatican’s efforts.

    That’s why when cases like Barbarin’s make it to the secular court, they underscore just how rare that action is. And that’s why when Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse held Cardinal George Pell’s feet to the fire several weeks ago—for his alleged oversight of abuse in that country—victims were angry that it took so long to happen.

    After Spotlight’s Oscar win, the Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi came out with guns blazing.

    “The depositions of Cardinal Pell before the Royal Commission as part of its inquiry carried out by live connection between Australia and Rome, and the contemporary presentation of the Oscar award for best film to Spotlight, on the role of the Boston Globe in denouncing the cover-up of crimes by numerous pedophile priests in Boston (especially during the years 1960 to 1980) have been accompanied by a new wave of attention from the media and public opinion on the dramatic issue of sexual abuse of minors, especially by members of the clergy,” he said in a statement.

    “The sensationalist presentation of these two events has ensured that, for a significant part of the public, especially those who are least informed or have a short memory, it is thought that the Church has done nothing, or very little, to respond to these terrible problems, and that it is necessary to start anew. Objective consideration shows that this is not the case.”

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  77. Lombardi went on to outline the various commissions and extensive work Francis and his two predecessors have accomplished, including meetings with survivors and the formation of guidelines and recommendations for clergy. But there was no mention of how the Church regularly reports its abusers to the secular justice system—primarily because it doesn’t. And there was little mention of the secular world at all beyond two references to “legal” procedures—one in Ireland and the other in Australia.

    He also pointed to the Vatican’s new tribunal to try those accused of or affiliated with the cover-up of rampant sex abuse, along with an advisory committee on sex abuse, headed by Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the Archbishop of Boston who replaced Cardinal Bernard Law, who resigned in shame in 2002 and whose blatant disregard for victims of sex abuse made him the central figure of Spotlight.

    But as the Associated Press pointed out last week, the Vatican’s recent efforts are “going nowhere fast.” Josef Wesolowski, the 67-year-old former papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic, who was the only person ever slated to face the tribunal, died suddenly in Vatican City before his trial began.

    What’s most troubling in Barbarin’s case is that Pope Francis made promises last September during his American trip that he would see to it that any bishops who were involved in the cover-up would be forced to resign. “You must not cover up, and even those who covered up these things are guilty,” Francis told reporters on his plane back to Rome.

    So why is Barbarin not being forced out? Preynat’s lawyer, Federic Doyez, told the French judge that Barbarin knew about the abuse. “The facts had been known by the church authorities since 1991,” he said.

    An unidentified source close to Barbarin told the AFP that Francis was surely talking about someone else. “This comment does not in any way target Cardinal Barbarin who quite rightly suspended Father Preynat after meeting a first victim and taking advice from Rome, and this, even before a first official complaint was made.”

    Victims groups will be watching the events closely to see if French justice will set a precedent for other countries. “The pope’s refusal to honor this promise is yet another reminder that keeping kids safe in the Catholic Church is a burden that increasingly falls on brave victims, secular authorities and church members—especially whistleblowers,” says Barbara Dorris, SNAP’s outreach director.

    On the third anniversary of Pope Francis’s historic election, March 13, many will be praising the success and popularity of the pontiff. But three years into the job, it remains certain that the pope’s promise to do something about the continuing clerical abuse and cover-up leaves little to celebrate.


  78. Scouts Canada drops lawsuit against parents of alleged abuse victim who killed himself

    Lawsuits blaming parents of abuse victims a troubling trend, lawyer says

    By Karissa Donkin, Diana Swain, Chelsea Gomez, CBC News May 26, 2016

    Scouts Canada has apologized for trying to sue the elderly parents of a deceased New Brunswick man who said he was sexually abused by his scout leader.

    The organization laid the third-party claim after it received notice it was being sued by Gilles DesRoches's estate over the alleged abuse.

    DesRoches took his own life in 2014 after years of mental anguish, which his family says was brought on by abuse he said he suffered as a boy in the 1970s.

    His widow and daughter vowed to get justice for him. They filed a lawsuit against Scouts Canada in 2015, saying the organization is responsible for the abuse that haunted him until his death.

    Scouts Canada responded with a third-party claim against DesRoches's parents, claiming they "had a duty to provide their son with counselling and therapy at the relevant times."

    The organization dropped the suit after being contacted by CBC News.

    'We are deeply sorry'

    The third-party lawsuit was "completely unacceptable," Scouts Canada spokesman John Petitti told CBC News in an email.

    He said the organization ordered its insurer to drop the suit as soon as officials at Scouts Canada learned about it.

    "This is not how we treat people," Petitti said.

    "Quite simply, it should never have happened and we are deeply sorry that it did."

    The apology comes as Scouts Canada tries to rehabilitate its image after a 2011 CBC News investigation found the organization had secret files on suspected pedophiles in its ranks.

    Father puzzled by lawsuit

    Norm DesRoches couldn't understand why Scouts Canada would want to sue him.

    He said he and his wife, Marguerite, put everything they had into trying to save their son, including paying his bills and even moving in with him during the final years of his life.

    "You don't sue somebody who doesn't have anything," DesRoches said.

    He said Scouts CEO Andrew Price delivered the apology.

    But it's not enough, he said, knowing that his 21-year-old granddaughter, Danika, has lost her father.

    "She'll be going through her life with no father so ... to me, an apology is not enough."

    'Chilling effect'

    Some legal observers say third-party claims are being used more often by institutions facing lawsuits over historic sexual abuse.

    They're becoming more common because it's become easier to prove institutions are liable, said Toronto lawyer Susan Vella, who has represented sexual abuse victims.

    She worries the tactic could discourage survivors from bringing their cases to the courts.

    "It causes them to feel guilt and shame over something they had absolutely no control over," Vella said.

    The DesRoches's lawyer, Robert Talach, has the same concern.

    "I wonder aloud if this is to create a chilling effect, to send a message that if you're going to sue us, we're going to sue everyone in your family."

    Scouts Canada said that approach is "inconsistent with what we stand for as an organization."

    "We have apologized to the family and put processes in place to ensure that this does not happen again," Petitti said.

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  79. It must have been a real nightmare

    Gilles DesRoches spent his life searching for happiness.

    On good days, family photos show him swimming and playing with his daughter. But the bad days eventually outnumbered the good ones.

    At his home in Miramichi, Norm DesRoches pointed to a picture of his son as a teenager, posing with his mother at a birthday party.

    The photo captures how his son changed. He said his boy's eyes looked empty ever since a camping trip in 1976 when he was 11.

    The day he got back from the trip, Norm said his son told him his scout leader tried to touch him inappropriately.

    Soon after the trip, his son began to drink, a vice that would later take over his life.

    "It must have been a real nightmare for him," he said.

    Norm said he immediately told Scouts Canada about what happened on the trip.

    According to the family's statement of claim, Scouts Canada promised to remove the scout leader and prevent him from rejoining the organization.

    It would take nearly 40 years before Gilles revealed more about what happened on the camping trip, Norm said.

    Crying on his father's shoulder on a fall day decades later, Norm said his son told him the full story, that he had been forced to perform oral sex on his scout leader.

    On Sept. 21, 2014, his father got a call after Gilles didn't answer a knock at the door of his trailer.

    Norm knew his son was gone even before two police officers arrived at his home to tell him Gilles had killed himself.

    An unexplained struggle

    Gilles hadn't told his wife or daughter about the alleged abuse.

    But Joanne Bourque says her late husband once told her he knew, at only 12 years old, that something was wrong with him.

    She said Gilles got counselling and tried medication. Nothing worked.

    "He didn't feel like he deserved to be happy," Bourque said.

    She learned about the alleged abuse a few days after Gilles died.

    The man accused of abusing him went on to abuse other children after being kicked out of Scouts in New Brunswick, according to the family's statement of claim and supporting documents.

    He rejoined Scouts in Alberta and was convicted of four sexual abuse charges against boys in his scout troop, the statement of claim says. For that, he was sentenced to nine months in jail and 18 months' probation.

    He was then convicted of fondling a boy on a school playground in 1997 and served one year of a 17-month sentence, the documents allege.

    'I will get justice'

    At a private family burial, Bourque made a promise to her late husband.

    "I will get justice," she said. "I'll tell the story."

    She said that's why she and daughter Danika decided to sue Scouts Canada.

    "I just wanted them to take responsibility for what happened," Bourque said.

    The legal filing says the alleged abuser used the power granted to him by Scouts Canada to abuse Gilles.

    Scouts Canada, it alleges, also failed to warn families about the risk of sexual abuse, despite knowing its organization had been infiltrated by predators.

    Scouts Canada has denied the allegations in a statement of defence.


  80. Boy Scouts of America have a pedophile epidemic and are hiding hundreds in its ranks, lawyers claim

    The Abused in Scouting lawyers say they've identified 350 predator scoutmasters and represent 800 victims.

    by Corky Siemaszko, NBC News August 6, 2019

    The Boy Scouts of America are continuing to cover-up a “pedophilia epidemic within their organization,” a group of lawyers alleged Tuesday in a new lawsuit.

    The Abused in Scouting lawyers said they’ve identified 350 previously unknown scoutmasters and volunteers who allegedly preyed on boys — and whose names were not known to law enforcement or in the BSA’s internal database, which critics have called “perversion files.”

    “You can’t look at these files and not come to the conclusion that this was a massive problem that was hidden,” attorney Tim Kosnoff said at a press conference.

    “We know that when a pedophile abuses a victim, it's not just one,” added attorney Stewart Eisenberg. “So each of the 350 abusers have dozens of other victims who have not come forward.”

    The revelation that the lawyers had identified a small army who they claim are previously unknown scout sex abusers was contained in the lawsuit filed Monday in Philadelphia by a Pennsylvania man identified only as “S.D.” who claims he was assaulted “hundreds” of times over a span of four years in the 1970s.

    S.D., who lives in Wilkes-Barre, identified his attacker in the lawsuit as Paul Antosh, who also lives in the Pennsylvania city.

    “I just heard about this lawsuit,” Antosh, 62, told NBC News when reached by phone at the Poconos motel he manages.

    Asked if the allegations are true, Antosh said, “I’m in the process of hiring counsel.”

    The complaint also names the Boy Scouts and the Penn Mountains Council.

    “BSA knew for decades that sexual predators of boys had infiltrated scouting,” the complaint states.

    In response to questions from NBC News, the BSA said it was reviewing the spread sheet the Abused in Scouting lawyers sent them and "continuing to manually search paper records at the local level to see if we can identify more information about the additional alleged perpetrators identified in the plaintiff’s attorneys list."

    "We immediately investigated the limited information provided and our efforts have already resulted in approximately 120 reports to the lead law enforcement agency in each state with an accusation of abuse," the BSA said in emailed response. "We have also contacted local law enforcement for all the cases in which enough information was provided to identify the correct agency."

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  81. In a quick review of the Abused in Scouting lawyers' spread sheet, NBC News found that at least half-a-dozen former scout leaders had been previously unmasked as predators and were listed in the BSA's so-called perversion files.

    NBC News also asked the BSA whether Antosh was still involved in scouting. There was no immediate response to that question from the scouting organization.

    The BSA, which has been hit with a raft of lawsuits by former scouts who said they were victimized, has acknowledged that it has maintained “ineligible volunteer files” since the 1920s that contained the names of alleged predators.

    But the organization insists the internal database is a tool designed to keep sexual abusers out of scouting and has denied hiding the names from law enforcement of scout leaders accused of molesting boys.

    Facing mounting legal costs from defending itself against lawsuits, the venerable nonprofit organization said in 2018 that it began considering filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

    Founded in 1910 and long considered a bastion of traditional values, the BSA had as of 2016 more than 1.26 million Cub scouts, nearly 830,000 Boy Scouts, and around 960,000 adult volunteers.

    Abused in Scouting (AIS) consists of lawyers from three different law firms who have banded together to take on the BSA.

    Speaking at the National Press Club, Eisenberg said the Antosh case is the first of many lawsuits against the BSA to come. He said their 800 or so clients range in age from 14 to 88.

    Most of the victims are from Texas, where the BSA is based, and states like Florida and North Carolina.

    “Many of the victims can still recall the smell of the man who crawled into their bag,” said attorney Andrew Van Arsdale. “These are powerful narratives.”

    Even more troubling, Kosnoff said, just four of the 800 victims “identify the same abuser.”

    “Everybody else is identifying another abuser,” he said.

    As for predator scoutmasters, “they’re all over the country” and from a variety of professions, Eisenberg said.

    Asked if any of the alleged scout abusers are still involved in scouting, Kosnoff said: “We asked the BSA to help us identify these perpetrators. We’ve hit a stone wall with the Boy Scouts.”

    So the lawyers put out a TV spot in February urging victims to call their offices.

    “It was slow at first,” Kosnoff said. “But once the phones started ringing, they have not stopped.”

    Eisenberg called on Congress and local prosecutors to take a closer look at the BSA. He said they would also be happy to share what they have found with local law enforcement.



    The film “Church and the Fourth Estate” tells the story of how the Boy Scouts tried to cover up a massive scandal of child sexual abuse.

    by Brian Knappenberger, The Intercept December 21 2020

    ON NOVEMBER 16, the U.S. passed a milestone: the end of a window of less than nine months in which nearly 92,700 people came forward with shocking sexual abuse claims against the Boy Scouts of America. By way of comparison, in the last 15 years there have been some 15,000 credible child sex abuse allegations reported against the Catholic Church.

    The allegations of sexual abuse against the Boy Scouts include highly violent attacks. More than half of the claimants, according to Tim Kosnoff, an attorney who has spent years representing victims of child sexual abuse, described behavior that would constitute a Class A felony — “the most serious child sex offenses,” Kosnoff said. Cover-ups by Scout officials were frequent. Instead of informing authorities, the officials told the subjects of the allegations to quietly leave the organization. Many went on to join other troops, only to face more allegations of child abuse. The young people targeted by abuse were often told by Scouting officials not to tell their parents.

    There are few historical comparisons to the large-scale moral and ethical failure of the Boy Scouts organization. Arriving at our present moment — which in some ways has begun a process of healing — has not been easy.

    Take the case of Adam Steed, a young man I met while directing the short film “Church and the Fourth Estate,” and the journalist Peter Zuckerman. Theirs is a tale of a long struggle for accountability, a protracted battle against the massively influential forces of the Boy Scouts, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and monied interests that went to great lengths to defend those institutions. Ultimately, it became a story of grave abuses, a story about getting a public hearing about those abuses, and about the freedom of the press to report on a massive string of alleged crimes against powerful interests.

    IN 1997, WHILE at a Boy Scout camp in Idaho, Steed was sexually abused by a Scout leader and Latter-day Saints mentor named Brad Stowell. (The Boy Scouts have historically been closely connected to the Church of Latter-day Saints, often known as the Mormon church.) When Steed sought to report the abuse, leadership at the camp failed to act, so the then-14-year-old boy took it on himself to call the police, who descended on the camp and arrested Stowell.

    “That should be the end of the story,” Steed told me when I interviewed him, “where the good guys come in and fix it. But unfortunately, that was just the beginning.” Steed was shunned by people in his community and targeted by people in his school and church. Worse, Stowell, who confessed to molesting 24 boys and pleaded guilty to molesting two, was initially given a 150-day jail sentence — roughly one week for every boy he abused. Compounding things, the filings for a civil case relating to Stowell were erased from the public-access court docket — meaning that people could not get a full view into the events.

    The full story would only come to light because of the work of Zuckerman, a reporter with the Idaho Falls Post Register. Acting on a tip, the paper sued for access to the court file and then published the story of Stowell and the Idaho camp in a series of investigative articles called “Scout’s Honor.”

    The community of Idaho Falls was rattled — but some people saw the stories as an attack on cherished institutions.

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  83. Billionaire Frank VanderSloot, one of the richest people in the state, funded a series of full-page ads in the Post Register. Taking aim at the “Scout’s Honor” series, the first VanderSloot ad was headlined “Responsible Journalism or Misleading Propaganda?”

    The attacks in the ad kept coming. He called attention to Zuckerman’s sexual orientation, saying that Zuckerman “declared to the public that he is homosexual.” While saying it was “unfair to conclude” that Zuckerman was biased because he was gay, the ad raised the possibility that Zuckerman’s reporting was biased because of the Boy Scout’s opposition to gay Scout leaders and the Latter-day Saints’ opposition to gay marriage. (In court proceedings, VanderSloot adamantly denied that he ever intended to question Zuckerman’s reporting on the basis of his sexual orientation.)

    The harassment against Zuckerman before and after the publication of VanderSloot’s ad was enormous. He said someone left notes at his house and that an anonymous caller threatened to “rape me with his handgun.” In a sworn deposition, Zuckerman said it was “one of the darkest periods of my life.” In the end, life in small-town Idaho Falls became untenable, and Zuckerman moved away.

    And yet VanderSloot followed: Later, after Zuckerman suggested on cable news that Vandersloot “outed” him in the series of adverts, the billionaire sued the reporter. It became a lengthy battle that ended with Zuckerman conceding in an affidavit that he had discussed his sexual orientation in public before VanderSloot’s ads; that he had been the subject of attacks before and after those ads ran; and that VanderSloot did not intend to cause people to harass Zuckerman.

    VanderSloot’s attacks on the press did not end with Zuckerman. Mother Jones magazine reported about donations from VanderSloot’s company to Sen. Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, noting that VanderSloot was one of Romney’s national financial chairs. VanderSloot sued the publication, the author of the article, and the magazine’s then-co-editor-in-chief for saying that he “outed” Zuckerman, as well as a magazine employee for describing VanderSloot in a tweet as “gay bashing.”

    Eventually, a judge granted a summary judgment in favor of Mother Jones, but the suit cost the magazine and its insurers $2.5 million in legal fees. (The Press Defense Fund, now known as the Press Freedom Defense Fund — which is part of First Look Media, The Intercept’s parent company — helped cover Mother Jones’s legal fees.) Zuckerman, in the affidavit that was part of his settlement, disclaimed the label: “Taking out ads critical of someone’s reporting is not gay bashing in my mind.”

    It was an all-out attack on the press: using a deep wallet and the court system to go after journalists who dared to cover the Boy Scout scandal and VanderSloot’s intervention in it.

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  84. VANDERSLOOT WOULD EVENTUALLY soften his tune on the Boy Scout scandal, including conceding that there was a cover-up. After speaking with several of the abused, he published another ad that said, “We never intended to cause additional pain to the victims. For that we are truly sorry.” But the effects of his efforts still matter and could continue to cause harm. Publicly questioning accounts of cover-ups of sexual abuse — especially in widely distributed media, something that the powerful have greater access to — can make survivors more scared to come forward.

    Meanwhile, Zuckerman and the team at the Post Register never received any requests for corrections on their “Scout’s Honor” series. Zuckerman won a Livingston Award, the largest all-media, general reporting prize in American journalism. The reporting was essential for blowing open the enormous scandal at the Boy Scouts — so enormous that Zuckerman, at the time, could not have possibly known how huge it would be.

    There was always a wholesome glow of Americana and promise surrounding the Boy Scouts, but soon a darker, parallel history of child abuse and cover-ups stretching back to the organization’s founding would come to light. The media dug up early news reports — some as far back as 1935 — documenting the Scout’s internal files of “degenerates.” Though incomplete because some were destroyed, they contained the names of nearly 5,000 perpetrators who were expelled from the Boy Scouts in all 50 states on suspicion of sexual abuse. The pattern will be familiar: Incidents were kept quiet, police were kept out of it, and parents were kept in the dark.

    On February 18, citing nearly 300 lawsuits in state and federal courts across the country, the Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy. Revenue has collapsed. And the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose membership constituted nearly a fifth of the Scouts, broke away to start its own youth groups, called Vanguard.

    The Boy Scouts may yet survive. Its 1960s insurance policies did not include exclusions for child sex abuse or aggregate limits.

    Whatever happens to the organization, what its collapse means for the more than 92,700 survivors who came forward is tough to say. (In “Church and the Fourth Estate,” we reported that more than 82,000 survivors had come forward, but the number grew between the close of production and its release.)

    This much, though, is clear: Their sagas were largely preventable. The Boy Scouts made it almost certain that thousands of people would continue to be abused, its actions made sure the pain would continue. Thousands of people have suffered in silence or were made to somehow believe that it was their fault. Now, month by month, an organization that has held itself up as a moral and ethical leader is being destroyed by an awful truth.

    “Everyone wants to know if the Boy Scouts are going to survive,” Kosnoff, the lawyer, told me. “But the real question is, should they survive?”