Ineligible Volunteer File on Richard C. Stenger
Added September 29, 1989
In around 1920, soon after the Boy Scouts of America (“BSA”) was formed, the organization began keeping files on adult leaders and volunteers who were alleged to have committed various crimes and offenses. The files are known today as the “Ineligible Volunteer” or the “I.V. Files.”
The I.V. Files are made up of six categories of offenses including Perversion, Morals, Financial, Leadership, Theft and Criminal. By far the largest category is the Perversion Files, or “P Files” as the BSA internally refers to them. The Perversion Files contain the names of adult leaders who have been accused of, or convicted in a criminal court of, molesting or otherwise sexually abusing Boy Scouts.
Disclaimer: The information contained in each of the I.V. files was created solely by the Boy Scouts of America. The I.V. files for the period 1965 through 1985 were made public pursuant to a court order. By the terms of the court’s order, the names and contact information of persons identified as victims of sexual abuse and those that reported the abuse were redacted. If the person identified as the reporter of alleged abuse was a professional Scouter, i.e., an individual employed by the Boy Scouts of America or an affiliate, then the person’s name was not redacted. In 2012, the I.V. Files for the period 1986 through 1991 were made available to the public through the Los Angeles Times.
The information in the Perversion Files concerns allegations of child sexual abuse. In a number of the cases, the allegations were later substantiated by court proceedings. However, in a great many cases no such substantiation ever occurred.
The first page of each I.V. File is a “Confidential Record Sheet,” which provides basic background information on each individual. The information includes the individual’s date of birth, daytime job, and most importantly, his troop number and the basics of the allegations of abuse.
The following information was taken directly from the Ineligible Volunteer file of Richard C. Stenger. If you continue to scroll down on this page, you will be able to view the entire file and/or download the entire file. If you have any problems downloading or viewing the file, please contact us.
In 1971, Sea Scout leader Richard Stenger of Ship 161 in Menlo Park, California, 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 BSA’s records, 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. Eventually, Stenger was removed from probation and allowed to continue working in Scouting without any additional safeguards or supervision.
In 1989, 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 removed from Scouting for a second time.