For many young Wisconsin boys, summertime brings thoughts of campfires and pocketknives, and the opportunity to learn more about nature with the help of the Boy Scout program. As these young boys visit scout camps and participate in scouting activities, they are often directed and cared for by an adult that has been given a position of leadership within the council. Claims of sexual assault or abuse are taken very seriously by both the law and the scouting council, and leaders may be placed on temporary leave while the situation is investigated.
After many years of leadership within the organization, an adult leader has been removed from the Boy Scout program after one scout under the age of 16 claims he was sexually assaulted by the leader. He now faces up to 40 years in prison if he is convicted of the charges against him.
The leader has been released on bond, and denies the claims the scout has made. According to the scout, the leader performed a sex act on him while he was sleeping off a migraine in his tent while other scouts in the camp were still awake and outside the tent.
The official complaint from law enforcement officials states that the leader’s DNA was found on the youth. Although the situation may come down to the word of the scout against the word of his leader, the interaction between the two may have been against the law whether it was consensual or not. In this situation, the leader may want to consult with his attorney about the best way to approach prosecutors for a plea deal to avoid what could be a lengthy and embarrassing trial for both parties.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “Scout leader accused of sex assault at Wisconsin camp,” Clifford Ward, July 18, 2013