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Protect the Child: Lessons from the Boy Scout Perversion Files

3 Lessons from the Boy Scout Perversion files
by Heather Jordan on 18 October 2012

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Transcript of Protect the Child: Lessons from the Boy Scout Perversion Files

3 LESSONS HOW CHILD MOLESTERS OPERATE IN YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS
- Youth organizations must recognize that child molesters have
specific patterns of behavior. 1 LACK OF TRAINING
- Youth organizations have an obligation to train their
volunteers and professional staff how to respond to child
sexual abuse within their organization. 2 SECRECY
- Youth organizations must recognize that openness and
transparency are required to effectively address child
sexual abuse within their ranks. 3 Child molesters in
Scouting often had
multiple victims. LESSON LESSON Child molesters in
Scouting abused
their victims in a
variety of locations. LESSON Scouting professionals
and volunteers wanted
and needed training to prevent child sexual
abuse within their organization. LESSON HOW CHILD MOLESTERS OPERATE
IN YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS BSA failed to train
for and implement a “one strike you’re out –
remove first, investigate
later” policy regarding
child sexual abuse
allegations. LESSON BSA failed to openly acknowledge its
sexual abuse problem
out of a concern for
bad publicity. LESSON BSA failed to warn
Scouts and their
parents about men
they knew were a
danger to children. LESSON *Disclaimer: By virtue of Judge Wittmayer’s order, the information redacted from these documents are the names and contact information of the victims of alleged sexual abuse and those who reported the abuse. If the reporter of the alleged abuse was a professional Scouter, i.e., an individual in the employ of the BSA or any affiliate, then the name was not redacted. Important additional note: The information in these files is often graphic and concerns child sexual abuse — reader discretion is advised. Also, the information in these files concerns allegations of child sexual abuse. All persons mentioned in these files against whom allegations of sexual abuse or any other alleged crime are made are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. In many cases, the allegations were later substantiated by court proceedings; however, in a great many cases no such substantiation ever occurred. Consequently, the law firms of O’Donnell Clark and Crew LLP and Paul Mones, and any agent or representative of those law firms, makes no representation or suggestion that the allegations in these files are in every case true. In fact, because these files were created solely by BSA, we are in no position to verify or attest to the truth, or not, of any of these allegations. The incidents reported in these documents attest to notice of potential child abuse given to the Boy Scouts of America or its affiliates, and the responses of those entities to that notice. The historical importance of this material is in understanding what one youth organization learned about allegations of child abuse in its midst, when it learned it, and what it did about it. We hope the information and events in these files can serve as a tool to increase safety within youth organizations, and thus to protect children in the future. Child molesters in
Scouting were often given second chances through a probation program and typically reoffended. Kelly Clark
Child Sex Abuse Attorney
O'Donnell Clark & Crew LLP
Portland, OR 97209
503-306-0224
www.kellyclarkattorney.com Youth organizations must recognize that child molesters have specific patterns of behavior. 1.1 | FILE 0077 HOW CHILD MOLESTERS OPERATE
IN YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS HOW CHILD MOLESTERS OPERATE
IN YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS Youth organizations must recognize that child molesters have specific patterns of behavior. HOW CHILD MOLESTERS OPERATE
IN YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS Youth organizations must recognize that child molesters have specific patterns of behavior. HOW CHILD MOLESTERS OPERATE
IN YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS Youth organizations have an obligation to train their volunteers and professional staff how to respond to child sexual abuse within their organization. LACK OF TRAINING LACK OF TRAINING LACK OF TRAINING LACK OF TRAINING Youth organizations have an obligation to train their volunteers and professional staff how to respond to child sexual abuse within their organization. LACK OF TRAINING LACK OF TRAINING SECRECY Youth organizations must recognize that openness and transparency are required to effectively address child sexual abuse within their ranks. SECRECY SECRECY Youth organizations must recognize that openness and transparency are required to effectively address child sexual abuse within their ranks. SECRECY SECRECY SECRECY SECRECY LACK OF TRAINING Rochester, MN 1983 1.2 | FILE 0220 Chicago, IL 1970 1.3 | FILE 0040 Philadelphia, PA 1982 1.4 | FILE 0286 Waterford, PA 1972 – 1978 1.5 | FILE 0276 Boulder, CO 1977 1.6 | FILE 0720 Westmont, IL 1966 2.1 | FILE 0073 Rocky Mount, VA 1984 2.2 | FILE 0168 Dallas, TX 1984 2.3 | FILE 0492 Portland, OR 1974 2.4 | FILE 0584 Rochester, NY 1969 2.5 | FILE 0406 Athens, GA 1977 2.6 | FILE 0673 Wichita, KS 1970 3.1 | FILE 0520 Peoria, IL 1981 3.3 | FILE 0727 Rushville, IN 1968, 1986 3.4 | FILE 0088 Fairbanks, AK 1983 3.5 | FILE 0058 Indianapolis, IN 1982 3.6 | FILE 0612 Bayonne, NJ 1967 3.2 | FILE 1137 Longview, TX 1965 HOW CHILD MOLESTERS OPERATE IN YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS Drawing represents
BSA commentary likening case to dousing a fire. LESSONS FROM THE BOY SCOUT PERVERSION FILES Youth organizations have an obligation to train their volunteers
and professional staff how to respond to child sexual abuse
within their organization. Youth organizations must recognize that openness and
transparency are required to effectively address child sexual
abuse within their ranks. Youth organizations must recognize that child molesters
have specific patterns of behavior. Kelly says,
" INTRODUCTION

The files have been made public pursuant to a court order from The Honorable
John Wittmayer, Multnomah County Circuit Judge for the State of Oregon, in the
case of Case No. 0710-11294. A ruling and order which was upheld by the Oregon Supreme Court on June 14, 2012 in the same case, Supreme Court No. SO58601. These files cover the time period 1965 through 1985 and may or may not reflect current BSA policy. In the late 1980’s, the BSA enacted its Youth Protection Guidelines aimed at educating its members about the general problem of child sexual abuse. In 2010, following the trial, the BSA purported to make Youth Protection Guideline training mandatory for all adult volunteers and that same year it altered its youth application form to advise prospective Scouts and their parents that sexual abuse is a serious problem that “can happen anywhere, even in Scouting.”

*See Disclaimer LESSONS FROM THE BOY SCOUT
PERVERSION FILES LESSONS FROM THE BOY SCOUT PERVERSION FILES Paul Mones
Child Sex Abuse Attorney
Portland, OR 97209
503-225-1054
www.paulmones.com “[M]y source . . . had come back and said there was a possibility of 16 more boys involved. He told-me at that time that the three were signing a complaint and he was continuing his investigation. I called Father Taylor immediately afterward and he said yes he knew about 16 and that the list may be as high as 23 . . . .” “Arrested for homosexual activity with many boys both in Scouting and through the school in which he was teaching...” “The boy told police that Boblitt tied him to a bed and forced him to engage in oral sex.” “An assistant Scoutmaster, Allan Boblitt, turned himself into police on morals charges March 5 apparently involving members of his Boy Scout troop. The story has been carried by Philadelphia papers and radio and television. Since then a former member of Exploring says in the period 1960-62 Boblitt, serving as an associate advisor, was kicked out of the post for similar activities.
A computer check shows no record of this.” “The Merit Badge Counseling Conference took place at the home of Mr. David H. Mitchell . . . .”

“After a period of sitting and discussing the Merit Badge, the boy was asked to move his chair to the center of the table, and Mr. Mitchell moved his chair toward the boy. When their chairs were together Mr. Mitchell put his hand on the boy’s leg and asked, ‘Do you mind?’ The boy’s response was ‘No, not at all.’ Then Mr. Mitchell started to feel around. The boy put his legs together. Mr. Mitchell then asked, ‘Did anyone ever do that before?’ The boy said ‘No.’ Mr. Mitchell then said, ‘My, you have got a big one.’ The boy looked at him and it looked as if Mr. Mitchell was having an erection.” “I regret that it has taken our council so long to act on this matter, but our Scouters wanted to be very careful and be certain that we had properly identified Mr. Kelly and that his behavior justified our investigation.”

“If it is a fact that Mr. Kelly was registered in the San Diego Council when this incident occurred, it is absolutely unforgivable that they did not report this problem to you eight years ago . . . . It has been a nightmare for us. But even worse, how will we ever know that other children were not victimized because of their negligence. I hope you pass this on to the proper authorities and ask for them to do what they can to remind the professionals involved of their responsibilities for the welfare of the children we serve. This case will never really be closed until that has happened.” The National BSA official in charge of the IV files, Paul Ernst, writes a local Scout Executive: “Please send me the details which you have in your files. We have always asked that all the records in this type of situation be kept in the National Office and not in the local council office because of the embarrassment that could be incurred if the wrong individuals read the file.” “This young man, upon complaints of parents of boys, appeared before the Troop Committee . . . and during the conference, definitely admitted being guilty of several acts of ‘perversion’ and of course was immediately dismissed . . . . The Minister of the Sponsor Church is doing his best to protect Boy Scouting and trying to keep this incident as quiet as possible. However, if some of the parents file charges, then of course it will come out into the public as an open matter.” A Scout who was molested submits a written account of his abuse at the hands of a BSA camp director. “Camp staff members, especially commissioners, should be taught to look for behavior problems of all varieties from harmless pranks to malicious and more serious ones which require more than brief casual observation to discover.” A Scout Executive in Alaska reports a Cub Scout leader for inclusion in the IV files. The man in charge of the IV files at National BSA, Paul Ernst, responds: “I will agree that sleeping nude and showing the boys pornographic books indicated very poor judgment when dealing with cub scouts. I do not know, however, that his is a serious enough offense to refuse registration anywhere he might try to register unless there are more instances.” “The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has indicated a report of sexual abuse against [the perpetrator]. As a result of our investigation there were found to be 34 victims of sexual abuse. [the perpetrator] will be listed on the Illinois State Central Registry for 5 years as a child abuse. He has been charged for these offenses by local law enforcement agencies. [the perpetrator] was a boy scout leader [in] Illinois.” http://www.kellyclarkattorney.com/prezi/0077.pdf Please Note: PDF will load in separate window. Read the complete case files at http://www.kellyclarkattorney.com/prezi/0220.pdf Read the complete case files at http://www.kellyclarkattorney.com/prezi/0040.pdf Read the complete case files at http://www.kellyclarkattorney.com/prezi/0286.pdf Read the complete case files at http://www.kellyclarkattorney.com/prezi/0276.pdf Read the complete case files at http://www.kellyclarkattorney.com/prezi/0720.pdf Read the complete case files at http://www.kellyclarkattorney.com/prezi/0073.pdf Read the complete case files at http://www.kellyclarkattorney.com/prezi/0168.pdf Read the complete case files at http://www.kellyclarkattorney.com/prezi/0492.pdf Read the complete case files at http://www.kellyclarkattorney.com/prezi/0584.pdf Read the complete case files at http://www.kellyclarkattorney.com/prezi/0406.pdf Read the complete case files at http://www.kellyclarkattorney.com/prezi/0673.pdf Read the complete case files at http://www.kellyclarkattorney.com/prezi/0520.pdf Read the complete case files at http://www.kellyclarkattorney.com/prezi/1137.pdf Read the complete case files at http://www.kellyclarkattorney.com/prezi/0727.pdf Read the complete case files at http://www.kellyclarkattorney.com/prezi/0088.pdf Read the complete case files at http://www.kellyclarkattorney.com/prezi/0058.pdf Read the complete case files at http://www.kellyclarkattorney.com/prezi/0612.pdf Read the complete case files at Please Note: PDF will load in separate window. Please Note: PDF will load in separate window. Please Note: PDF will load in separate window. Please Note: PDF will load in separate window. Please Note: PDF will load in separate window. Please Note: PDF will load in separate window. Please Note: PDF will load in separate window. Please Note: PDF will load in separate window. Please Note: PDF will load in separate window. Please Note: PDF will load in separate window. Please Note: PDF will load in separate window. Please Note: PDF will load in separate window. Please Note: PDF will load in separate window. Please Note: PDF will load in separate window. Please Note: PDF will load in separate window. Please Note: PDF will load in separate window. Please Note: PDF will load in separate window. “I am never quite clear on how we should communicate with you about people who we won't readmit into professional scouting.”

“Ronald G. "Skipper" Brown is the kind of person my instincts tell me might very well attempt to resurface somewhere as a volunteer.”

“If you agree you need to place info about him in your files –
how much more information do you need?”

“I really think we should spend some time discussing cases like this and how we should feed info to you – so we can prevent people like this guy from slipping in as volunteers. To my knowledge, there is no written guideline for either of us to follow. Let me know if you agree that a meeting is in order, and lets set a time.” “There has been some question concerning this man's eligibility for registration in a leadership capacity and, since he is now registering as Scoutmaster, we wish to call this to your attention.”

“We will put Mr. Boblitt on probation for a two-year period. At the end of each year, we will send you a letter requesting a complete reply concerning his performance and relationship with others. If, at the end of two years, his record is satisfactory we would suggest removing his name from our file.” “It is my personal opinion that Mr. Michael E. Nonclerg should not be permitted to re-register with the Boy Scouts of America. Mr. Nonclerg admitted that he had participated in acts of perversion with several troop members.” The Local Scout Executive writes back to Mr. Ernst at BSA National and informs Ernst that he would prefer to “let this case drop.”

The Local Scout Executive explains that:
“The community involved is rather unique and one father has threatened legal action which could only injure the Boy Scouts of America. Therefore, I would suggest that we let it drop. My personal opinion in this particular case is, ‘if it don't stink, don't stir it.’” “We recently received an application for registration from the above Scouter. This man's name was submitted to us for the Confidential File in August 1972 by your Council.”

“We will approve his registration as Scoutmaster in Troop 910 and place him on two years probation. In this way you can observe him at the end of each year, we will again write you for a report on his character and leadership performance. When the two year probationary period is ended, your report will be the deciding factor in our decision to remove his name from the Confidential File.” “The situation she conveyed to me was that the Scouts arose early one morning, waking the Scoutmaster. He came out of his tent, telling them to go back to bed. During the course of his conversation with the Scouts she claimed that he punched her son in the chest. As a result, he has bruises on the chest and has also been complaining about pains in his side. She has had him under doctor's care since that point. She finally called to complain after the urging of other parents in the troop. She indicated that it is not uncommon for the Scoutmaster to use abusive language and treat the boys in a rough manner.” “We will maintain Mr. Nonclerg on our Confidential File as a probationary case for another year, at which time we will write to you to see if there are any more incidents which have occurred. Your reply at that time will help us to determine. Our decision about removing him from the file or continuing his probationary status.” “After an investigation, it proves that his homosexual activity has been carried on for the past three or four years. Our camp director, Ken Singletary, stated that even after he was caught, they had to physically with strain him of attempting to visit the Scout he was molesting.” “This communication is to advise you of the arrest of Floyd David Slusher, DOB 2/27/53. Mr. Slusher, scoutmaster of troops 75 and 73, was taken into custody on 2/3/77 as directed bv a District Court warrant charging him with 4 counts of Sexual Assault on a Child. Evidence shows that the sexual assaults were of homosexual in nature and were inflicted upon boy scouts in his charge while participating in Scout activities. Additional sexual assault charges are pending as a result of further investigation.” “. . . Slusher would pick up a youth at home with an excuse that he was taking the boy to a movie or a Boy Scout function, and instead would take the youth to his Boulder apartment, where most of the sexual assaults occurred . . . . Slusher never really threatened the boys to engage in sexual activities, but threatened violence to the boys if they told anyone about the incidents.” HOW CHILD MOLESTERS OPERATE
IN YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS “We have checked our file and find from the descriptive information given that this is a man already on our Confidential File since 1972 and currently registered on a Probationary basis.” “It was asked by the pack committee if the LDS Church could help Mr. Hogan. When the men went back to Mr. Hogan and asked him if the Bishop had had the opportunity of discussing Mr. Hogan’s problems with him, Mr. Hogan simply said yes. The Bishop said not to worry about it at all.”

“They also told me that about five years ago Mr. Hogan was involved in Pack 406 of that same area and that the same problem had occurred at that time and he was asked by that committee if he would please withdraw from Scouting, which he did. They called the Scout office and nothing was done to make sure that he could not be registered again.” An LDS religious leader writes to a Scout official: “. . . I am completely satisfied that the accusations [James Hogan] on record are completely without substance”

“The matter was reviewed thoroughly by the ecclesiastical authorities . . . . In essence, Jim has a great love for young people and occasionally demonstrates this feeling with an embrace or other physical contact.”

“I hope that this will be sufficient to clear his record and allow him to serve in the scouting organization.” “Upon investigation by the [LDS Church’s] Stake President, supported by the man who was Stake President in 1974, they have determined to their satisfaction that he was not guilty . . . . Both presidents
. . . are positive he is capable of working with youth.”

“We therefore endorse their request and ask that James Hogan now be permitted to be a registered adult.” A 1977 internal BSA investigative report tracks accusations against a Scoutmaster going back to 1961: “There was strong evidence that Boland had been involved with several Scouts, however, in all cases, it was his word against another individual.”

“In the summer of 1975, he asked me the point-blank question, ‘Is my name on the Confidential List of B.S.A. and can you prevent me from becoming a Scoutmaster?’ I again discouraged him from becoming a Scoutmaster but had to admit that I could not prevent his registration.” Later in 1975, Boland becomes a Scout leader in a different troop. By the next year the ongoing BSA investigation revealed new allegations of past abuse: “There was reason to believe that there were as many as 10-12 boys involved, but in every case, parents had determined not to come forward because of the potential for harm to their sons who were now adults with families.” In June of 1977, Boland is finally banned from Scouting. A Scout Executive writes to BSA’s national office to report a man for the Perversion files: “Troy W. Hunnicutt . . . Committee Chairman of Pack 492 is charged with child molestation. The sheriff of Sedewick County has a warrant for his arrest.”

“Will you please make appropriate record of this and send me the supplemental form for reporting this situation.” A member of BSA National staff writes back:
“We have taken steps to have his name deleted from our records.”

“We do, however, need more substantiating information . . . . Please send us a more detailed letter concerning the facts of this case and also we would appreciate a copy of the police or court record. This information . . . would certainly strengthen our position of refusing to accept any future application for registration . . . .” The Scout Executive fills out the ineligible volunteer form and return it to National BSA, which responds in a letter: “Thank you very much for the confidential record sheet on Troy Hunicutt. We will rely upon you to send us the details of police action if and when the police catch up with this man.”

“You realize, of course, that currently we have no information, and would be hard put to justify our refusing his request to register in Scouting, should he show up in some other council.” An internal BSA investigative report within the file notes: “One parent reported there had been an incident about five years ago where a parent had complained to the District Executive and they had met with an assistant Scoutmaster . . . but nothing further had happened.” After being convicted of sodomy with young boys and sentenced to prison, a Scout leader is allowed to return to Scouting on a “probationary” basis: “In this day and age of a ‘high awareness of child abuse,’ the Boy Scouts of America has increased its watchfulness of its adult membership.”

“However, your record from 1978 indicates no negative comments and you may, still at a probationary status, remain registered in the Scouting movement.” An internal BSA investigation into new abuse allegations against an adult leader on probation notes that, “[H]e was removed from the [confidential] file and allowed to register for each of the next two years ‘on probation’ with an annual recommendation from the Scout Executive . . . . This history was not shared with the parents during the visit and discussion in the belief that it was confidential and would be prejudicial to the case.” In a letter to the local Scout Executive, Paul Ernst at BSA National acknowledges the BSA’s policy of destroying files: “Since our cases are destroyed when a case is removed from a file, we do need a new Confidential Record Sheet.” A 1992 letter between BSA officials confirms that the man was put on probation and had at some point served as a District Executive. A letter from BSA National confirms that the man’s probationary status, and the probation system itself, remained in place through 2002.
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