Boy Scouts May File for Bankruptcy
The Boy Scouts of America may be filing for bankruptcy due to escalating legal costs relating to lawsuits over how the organization mishandled reports of child sexual abuse allegations and child molester Scout leaders.
According to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal, the Boy Scouts of America has formally retained legal counsel to advise on the Chapter 11 bankruptcy option.
Since it was incorporated in 1910, over 110 million people have participated in the Scouting program. But, in 2019, the Boy Scouts continue to face a large number of lawsuits that allege inappropriate sexual conduct by employees and volunteers dating back to the 1960s.
According to the Wall Street Journal report, the Boy Scouts’ legal bills have almost quadrupled from 2015-2017 as a result of sex-abuse-related-litigation and settlements. In addition, during that same time period, the Boy Scouts’ membership rate has rapidly declined in recent years, particularly after the LDS Church and other large sponsorship organizations announced they were pulling out of the Scouting program.
If the Boy Scouts file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it would stay all pending litigation and allow the youth organization to continue operating while negotiating settlements with victims of abuse through the bankruptcy process.
Importantly, if a bankruptcy is filed, abuse survivors may have a very limited time to file a claim with the bankruptcy court. The deadline could be as short as 4-6 months, and any claim filed after the deadline would likely be rejected.
We’ve researched the Ineligible Volunteer files that the Boy Scouts have had on file for decades and found that many perpetrators were allowed back to the volunteer program. If you’ve been a victim of the individuals listed below or any Scout or Volunteer, it’s crucial that you come forth before the Boy Scouts file for bankruptcy.
Here’s a list of the most notable individuals in their alleged abuse of children.
(Click on their names to get more details.) (Click here to View a full list of the Ineligible Volunteers list)
In 1991, ex-Scout leader Dane Williams of Martinez, California, reportedly was accused of child molestation that occurred in Colorado. He was previously registered as an adult leader from 1979 to 1985 in Martinez, California. The troop was reportedly sponsored by the LDS Church. He was subsequently placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file.
In 1986, Scoutmaster Daniel Montoya of Troop 121 in Long Beach, California, reportedly was charged with child molestation involving boys ages 9, 10, and 11 years old. The troop was sponsored by the LDS church. He was subsequently placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file.
In 1989, Scoutmaster Charles Lawrence of Troop 2 and Troop 24 in Napa, California, reportedly was convicted on two counts of child molestation and one count of oral copulation with a 12-year-old Scout. The troop was registered through LDS church. He was subsequently placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file.
In 1969, Scoutmaster Stephen Brown of Troop 105 in Van Nuys, California, reportedly was arrested by Los Angeles Police Department on reports that he sexually abused members of the troop, including a 12-year-old boy. Upon searching his home, police found photographs of Brown with at least two young Scouts engaged “in various sexually perverted acts.” At that time it was also reported that Brown had a criminal history in Oregon involving charges of forgery and grand theft. He was subsequently placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file.
In 1979, however, Brown reapplied for Scouting in Yuba City, California, as a member of the LDS Church. He was allowed to participate in Scouting as Assistant Cubmaster of Packs 3033 and Den Leader of Pack 30 on a “probationary” basis because “so much time had passed since he was placed in the file in 1969.
In 1971, Scoutmaster Stephen Field of Troop 11 and Troop 150 in Los Angeles, California, reportedly was forced to resign after three Scout alleged that he sexually abused them, including forcing them to pay strip poker on campouts. Scouts also reported that Field forced them to engage in “homosexual activities on a number of different occasions.” Field was immediately placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file, but it does not appear that he was reported to law enforcement at that time.
In 1988, however, Field reportedly was working as a high school teacher and was serving as a committee member of Troop 411 in Fillmore, California, when two 13-year-old Scouts reported that he molested them. Field also allegedly had naked pictures of the boys and forced them to watch pornography at his home. The Troop was sponsored by the LDS Church.
During the criminal investigation, it was revealed that Field had been removed from a high school teaching position in 1982 due to child sexual abuse allegations.
All of the above incidents followed the same pattern of grooming: Field would befriend young boys and take them on special outings, such as camping trips and movies. After isolating and grooming the boys, Field would give them back rubs and then molest them. Field was, again, placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file in 1988.
In 1976, Scoutmaster Raymond Weeks of Troop 295 in San Diego, California, reportedly was convicted of child sexual abuse charges involving several boys in the troop. He was later forced to register as a “sex offender.” He was subsequently placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file. According to the BSA’s records, Weeks was previously arrested and convicted of child molestation charges years earlier in 1969.
In 1988, Den leader John Roberts of Pack 3077 in Marysville, California, reportedly was allowed to work with children in the Pack despite being a registered sex offender who spent time in prison for child molestation charges in the early 1980s. Roberts allegedly molested a 12-year-old girl and forcibly raped a 16-year-old girl. According to Roberts, he disclosed the past offenses when he applied for the adult leadership position and was permitted to take on this role nonetheless. He was subsequently placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file.
In 1986, Charles Robb reportedly was arrested for molesting boys ages 8 to 11 during an overnight YMCA activity. During the criminal investigation it was revealed that Robb had been accused of sexually abusing boys at a camp run by the Boys Scouts of America in Oregon five years earlier. He was reportedly asked to resign his position as camp counselor, but no other action appears to have been taken. In fact, Robb was allowed to continue working in Scouting. At the time of the arrest, he was an adult leader of Troop 193 in Davis, California, for over a year. He was subsequently placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file.
In 1966, Scoutmaster Verner Pyhala of Pack 909 in San Diego, California, reportedly was accused of child molestation. He was subsequently placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file. However, he repeatedly attempted to register in Scouting until at least 1972, including working as a merit badge counselor in District 90.
In 1990, Scout leader Thomas Pike of Redlands, California, reportedly admitted that he was convicted of child molestation several years earlier and was a registered sex offender. He had been registered in Cub Scouts as a leader since approximately 1981. He was subsequently placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file.
In 1988, Scoutmaster David Negrette of Troop 274, 348, and 123 in Huntington Beach, California, and Santa Ana, California, reportedly was a member of the North American Man Boy Love Association was arrested on child abuse charges relating to his involvement in a sex ring with a Catholic priest, John Bauer. The sex ring involved abusing boys, ages 8 to 14, in Mexico and videotaping them in sexual encounters with each other and several adult men. He was subsequently placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file.
In 1967, Scoutmaster David Miller of Troop 6 in Chico, California, reportedly was accused of sexually abusing boys ages 9, 10, and 11 years old. He was subsequently placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file. However, Miller was later found registered with BSA in multiple locations, including troops in Mission Hills, California, and Bozeman, Montana.
In 1963, Scoutmaster Gregory Marshall of Troop 12 in Tujunga, California, reportedly was found to have multiple disqualifying criminal offenses dating back to 1954, including child molestation. He was subsequently placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file.
In 1981 and 1982, Scoutmaster Craig Markinson of Troop 339 in Daly City, California, reportedly showed pornographic films and fondled multiple Scouts during multiple Scouting events. Markinson admitted to showing the boys pornographic movies and “grab assing,” but denied fondling the boys’ genitals. Markinson was permitted to continuing his involvement in Scouting on a “probationary basis.” He was subsequently placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file, but was allowed to retain his registration as a Scouter working with adults for a period of two years at which point he would be eligible to return to his role as Scout leader working with youth. In 1988, however, BSA reversed course and decided to terminate Mr. Markinson’s registration.
In 1985, Assistant Scoutmaster Stephen Jones of Troop 386 in Carmichael, California, reportedly was implicated as a member of a pedophile ring that included two other Scout leaders, John Olson and Terrence Maddock. The men were accused of molesting boy seven to seventeen years of age. According to newspaper reports, Maddock was a registered sex offender. In addition, Jones had previously been reported to BSA as “unfit to work with boys” due to incidents involving drinking alcohol on campouts, yelling profanities, and wielding a knife in a threatening manner. Parents of Scouts who reported Jones’ misconduct in 1981 told reporters that BSA failed to take any action to address their complaints about Jones until after reports of sexual abuse surfaced in 1985. Literature from the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) was reportedly found in his home, including instructions on how to avoid detection and groom potential victims in organizations with access to young boys. He was subsequently, again, placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file.
In 1963, Scoutmaster Harold Jones of Pack 132 in Richmond, California, reportedly was convicted of sexual offenses against a minor, including oral sex with a 14-year-old boy. He was subsequently placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file in 1966. Two years later, however, in 1968, BSA realized “by accident” that Jones was currently registered as a Committeeman of Pack 3132. He was subsequently, again, placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file.
In 1983, Kirk Immel was reportedly arrested for molesting a five-year-old child, which he pled “no contest.” Six years later, in 1989, it was reported that Immel had been serving as Scout leader of Troop 1201 and Pack 4201 in San Diego. He was subsequently placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file.
In 1967, William Holdsworth was arrested and convicted for lewd and lascivious conduct, including oral sex with a male minor. He later went to prison in Los Angeles County. In 1980, he pled guilty to similar charges involving sexual offenses against a minor. At that time, Holdsworth was Scoutmaster of troop 82 in Twenty Nine Palms, California. He was subsequently placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file.
In 1977, Scoutmaster Mike Ross, formerly known as “Alan Grossman,” of Troop 222 in Santa Monica, California, reportedly was convicted of child molestation charges involving allegations of oral copulation against three boys ages 10, 11, and 12. The allegations came to light after slides depicting sexual acts with children were found in Ross’ home. At that time, it was reported that Ross had a lengthy history of abusing children, and had been convicted of child molestation crimes years earlier in New York between 1960 and 1971. Ross, at that time, went by a different name, “Alan Bagration.” Local law enforcement expressed concerns about BSA’s screening practices and failure to prevent men like Grossman from becoming Scout leaders, including due to simple name changes. He was subsequently placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file.
In 1990, Scoutmaster Gail Fisher of Troops 1 and 31 in San Mateo, California, reportedly admitted that he molested three different boys 17 years ago, but there was no criminal action. It is unclear whether these past abuse incidents involved Scouts. He was subsequently placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file.
In 1989, Scout leader Arthur Evans in Riverside, California, was reported to have washed a Scout in the shower years earlier at Camp Emerson and later tried to sleep in the same bed as the Scout. Criminal charges were not pressed because parents did not want to force their son to participate in prosecution. It appears he was removed from Scouting years earlier, but had found his way back into the program. He was subsequently placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file.
In 1966, Scoutmaster Bert Dohm of Troop 201 in Oakland, California, reportedly was removed from Scouting due a “history of child molesting.” He was allegedly “mentally retarded” and had been arrested previously for sexual offenses involving children. Dohm allegedly chose to be castrated instead of going to prison for these crimes. He was subsequently placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file. However, in 1971, he was found registered as the Webelos Den Leader of Pack 905 in Dublin, California. And, again, in 1974, it appears Dohm was registered in Scouting in the San Francisco Bay Area Council. He was subsequently placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file. In both instances, BSA later removed Dohm from Scouting.
In 1987, Nathan Clark of San Jose, California, was reported to have been criminally convicted years earlier for sexual abuse charges involving oral sex with a minor. Since at least 1986, Clark had been registered Committee Chairman of Pack 278 despite the disqualifying criminal history. He was subsequently placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file.
In 1991, Pack leader Samuel Becker of Pack 721 in Canoga Park, California, reportedly was removed from Scouting after it was reported that he had spent time in prison years earlier for sexual deviant crimes, including child molestation and expositionism. He was subsequently placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file, although stated he would continue to participate with Scouting as long as his son was involved.
In 1983, Scout leader Robert “Skip” Auleb reportedly molested a Scout at the Wente Scout Reservation after getting him intoxicated and offering him marijuana. The abuse was reported to BSA shortly thereafter, but Auleb was allowed to remain in Scouting. Auleb later became the Scoutmaster of Troop 264 in Pacifica, California, until late-1987, when the past abuse allegations were, again, reported to BSA, which led to his removal and placement in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file.
In 1971, Sea Scouting Skipper Richard Stenger of Ship 161 in Menlo Park, California, reportedly was charged with child molestation involving two nine-year-old boys and one twelve-year-old boy. The boys alleged that Stenger tied them up and molested them. Stenger eventually pleaded guilty to lesser charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Stenger had been involved with Scouting as an adult for over 20 years. He was subsequently placed in BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file in 1972.
According to his Ineligible Volunteer file, however, in 1975, Stenger was allowed to rejoin Scouting on a “probationary” basis. In fact, even before he was allowed to rejoin Scouting, the records indicate Stenger continued to provide technical assistance, boating help, and other Scouting assistance despite having been placed in the Ineligible Volunteer file years earlier.
Stenger was initially approved on a two year probationary basis at the behest of local scouting leaders. After three years of positive reports, Mr. Stenger was removed from probation and allowed to continue working in Scouting without any additional safeguards or supervision.
In 1989, Mr. Stenger was again accused of molesting numerous boys involved in Sea Scouting, including some as young as 11 years old. Similar to the allegations in the 1970s, Stenger reportedly used restraints to “hog tie” the boys, leaving them helpless. Stenger let the other boys watch the tied-up boys struggle, although he would not molest his victims in front of the other Scouts. By the time he was arrested, Stenger had amassed a large collection of photographs depicting young boys restrained in various types of bondage. Stenger was subsequently placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file for a second time.
In 1983, Scoutmaster Walter Scott of Troop 634 in El Toro, California, reportedly pleaded guilty to sexual abuse charges involving a 16-year-old boy. Scott was subsequently placed in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file.
According to Scott’s file, in 1984, his ex-wife sent a letter to BSA advising that, years ago, Scott was jailed and institutionalized for sexual abusing her children, which led her to ask “Don’t you bother to check the backgrounds of your volunteer Scout leaders before you let them work closely with young boys?” At that time, BSA Scott was still working in Scouting. Scott threatened his former wife with a lawsuit to keep her silent about his predations.
Two years later, in 1986, Scott’s ex-wife again contacted BSA to express her concern and frustration that Scott was still working with children as Scoutmaster of Troop 634. She presented research showing that mental health treatment is unsuccessful for pedophiles and pleaded with BSA to remove him immediately. At the time of the second letter, Scott was being prosecuted for sexual abuse of a child. Following the second letter, Scott agreed to resign from Scouting.
If you or someone you love have experienced abuse by a Scout or volunteer, you may be eligible to be compensated. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation to learn about your legal options.