The Boy Scouts' Police Problem

Dozens of teenage Explorers have been sexually abused by cops. Should Scouts share the blame?

Ceding oversight to the police departments and whatever local authorities they answer to may be a sound legal strategy, says Patrick Boyle, author of Scout's Honor, a book detailing cases of sex abuse within the Boy Scouts. But it is disappointingly hands-off. "In a program that pushes kids to go above and beyond," Boyle says, "the kids would be better served if their leaders went above and beyond, too."

Judith Cohen, a psychology professor at Temple University specializing in youth sex abuse, is more blunt. "Before [Learning for Life] has any more kids enroll [as Explorers], they should take a very systematic look at the problems and why they're arising," she says. "You can't just trust the police departments and hope for the best."

Brownsville, Texas, Sergeant Vince Ariaz allegedly forced himself on one underage Explorer and performed oral sex on another
Brownwood Police Department
Brownsville, Texas, Sergeant Vince Ariaz allegedly forced himself on one underage Explorer and performed oral sex on another
San Bernardino deputy Nathan Gastineau allegedly had sex with an underage Explorer
San Bernardino County Sheriff
San Bernardino deputy Nathan Gastineau allegedly had sex with an underage Explorer

Maggie, the Explorer abused by former Sergeant Vince Ariaz in Texas in 2007, is a prime example of who suffers when Learning for Life cedes oversight of its program to locals, says her lawyer, Jeffrey Edwards. "Every person that was supposed to look out for her not only failed, but really turned their back on her," he says. "In this case, the authorities were notified. They just didn't do their job."

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6 comments
mma fight
mma fight

Sports betting had been an age-old tradition found in every society. If you glance back into the history you will find that gamblers use to bet their money on just about anything unpredictable like games, animal racing or combats. The trend continues even today and betting is an interesting indulgence for sports fans and bookies all over the world. Sports betting in case popular games like soccer or baseball is carried out only during their seasons.

An Eagle Scout
An Eagle Scout

As someone with a strong background in the Scouting program, I know child abuse is a extremely serious matter in the organization. Boy Scouts, and I am assuming Explorer posts subsequently, are required to adhere to the "Two Deep" leadership policy. Essentially, it is means of ensuring there is NEVER one on one contact between an adult leader and a youth participant. If this officer was having this girl participate in ride-alongs without a secondary supervisor, it is violation of basic Scouting regulations.

Also... cops should know not to bang kids. Have fun in prison.

jo1glex
jo1glex

Police work attracts a certain personality type. Especially as the police are militarized, the personality type becomes more extreme. As more and more police departments hire combat veterans with no training whatsoever, the characteristics of predatory violence with a sexual component become more and more engrained in the police.

It isn't that there's a "lack of accountability." It's encouraged behavior. As soldiers, with the presumption of civilian life and responsibility, morph into warriors, tasked only to kill and despoil; so the paramilitary police are responsible only to utilize violence on command. Any "excesses" are excused, due to "the pressures of the job." Predatory sexual violence against women and children is all in a day's work.

You can't find troopers who will assault civilians on command without question, who don't also assault the vulnerable at other times in other ways, as well. It's all part of the bargain the Powers That Be have made.

Bottom line; keep your kids away from the cops. Keep your wife away from the cops. Solve your own problems as much as you can, by yourself, among your neighbors. That's the best way to deal with street gangs, the mob, or if your town were occupied by a foreign army. Increasingly, there's no difference.

retiredBSA
retiredBSA

The local department, as with any Scouting unit, selects and approves the leadership. Total local control. If you can't trust your police department to select leaders with high morals, who can you trust? Penn State is criticized for not reporting sexual abuse incidents to the police. In this case, not only were they reported to the police, the criminal was a police officer. If local leadership fails, how is Learning for Life responsible, as they have no authority over the individuals. Only the police department has authority to act.

guest1207
guest1207

Seriously it is encouraged??!! First of all Im speaking on behalf of personal knowledge in at least one of these stories that was listed and let me tell you and it even stated that some of these so called "victims" were over the age of 18! Now I dont disagree the officers actions were still highly inappropriate in many ways and there definitely should be accountability and consequences for them but dont think for one minute that all these girls were innocent curious little officers in training only interested in "Police work". That was not the case in all these cases. One girl in particular only joined to get close to the officers! Just like girls who like military uniformed men, this young lady had a hard on for police officers in uniform and she was over 18 btw! So also with her she also knew who was married and didnt care! It didnt stop her from pressuring to ride along with them and try to use her sexuality to seduce them which she did! She found officers that were vulnerable and ended in victim to her pursuits. The timeline was months, she carefully prepared and patiently waited and slept with whomever would fall for it! It didnt matter who! She is an attention whore! So next time dont quickly assume just the way the news article is trying to make it sound.. But again like I said I can only speak of my intel knowledge of one case, the others who knew! But I guarantee the one case, the girl wasnt some innocent girl pressured to have sex with this big ol' bad cop only trying to victimize young innocent girls! Not in this case! I am not dismissing the officers actions though, they were wrong and yes there should be accountability and consequences and there was and still is everytime the news has to print something about it!

 
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