Unfortunately, Idaho Scouting was not immune to sexual predators. Using the IV Files publicly available, and newspaper stories about lawsuits previously filed in Idaho against the BSA for child sexual abuse, we have established that from1963 through 2002 there were at least 15 child molesters who were adult volunteers in the State of Idaho. Our information is assembled in spreadsheets shown below:
|Perpetrator||Date BSA or LDS Notified||Date of IV File||Dates of Scouting|
|Arnold, Larren – Mormon||Fall of 1964||1991||1963-1989|
|Elliott, Robert – Non Mormon||4/8/71||1971||1969-1971*|
|Kringbaum, Arthur – Mormon||8/4/74||1974||1974*|
|Hagen, Billy Joe - Mormon||5/17/76||1976||1975-1976*|
|Schmidt, James – Mormon||6/11/79||1983||1977-1983|
|Powell, James – Non Mormon||7/3/80||1980||1976-1980*|
|Pringle, Barry – Non Mormon||11/24/82||1982||1982*|
|Empey, Dennis – Mormon||June, 1983||1988||1983-1990′s|
|Spencer, Sidney – Mormon||12/8/89||1989||1989*|
|Stowell, Brad – Mormon||1988||No IV File||1990′s|
|Hardin, Jeff – Mormon||Sept., 1991||No IV File||1990-1991|
|Libey, Lawrence – Unknown||Unknown||No IV File||1971-1976|
|Bowen, Douglas R. – Mormon||Unknown||No IV File||Late 70′s Early 80′s|
|Jenkins, Ronald – Mormon||Unknown||No IV File||1989-1993|
|Price, Robert Scott – Mormon||Unknown||No IV File||1987-2002|
|* This is the minimum number of years in scouting based solely on documents in the IV Files|
If you look at the Spreadsheets you’ll see that there were IV files created for 9 of them. You’ll also see the dates when the BSA or the Sponsoring Organization (usually the Mormon Church) was first notified of the abuser, which first occurred in 1964. Sometimes the abuser remained in Scouting as an Adult Volunteer for many years after the BSA first learned that person was a child molester. Twelve of the Perpetrators have been arrested or convicted for sexually related crimes.
If you click on the name of a Perpetrator you’ll be able to see a photo (where available) and a timeline we’ve assembled of pertinent dates and information.
Betrayal of Trust
Despite the existence of at least a 1000 IV Files by the 1960’s, prior to 1984, the BSA never told sponsoring organizations, Troops, parents or Scouts anything about the risk of abuse by adult volunteers. In fact, the BSA tried to cover up its problem with child molesters so as not to diminish membership or injure its reputation. The BSA viewed reports of child abuse as fires that needed to be put out. The BSA knew its failure to keep child molesters out of scouting, and parents’ awareness of that failure, might effect a parent’s decision to allow their children to participate in Scouts. The Perversion Files provide additional examples of the BSA trying to minimize negative publicity and otherwise keep silent about the child abuse problem within its organization.
This stands in stark contrast to Scouting’s official and public position that promoted Scouting as a safe, trustworthy, and fun organization for boys. The BSA allowed child molesters to become Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters who had “Responsibility for inculcating Boy Scouting’s values”. It encouraged parents to trust the adult Scout leader, describing them as men who are “morally, educationally and otherwise qualified to serve in responsible positions of leadership.”
The BSA encouraged and fostered close, friendly, trusting relationships between young scouts and their Scoutmasters. The BSA literature described a Scout leader as a “wise friend to whom (the Scout) can always turn for advice.” Scoutmasters were required to take “responsibility for the moral education and care of other people’s children.” “Qualities of a Good Scoutmaster” included “(a) liking for boys and ability to win their friendship(,)” and “(s)tature in the community that will win the confidence of parents and institutional leaders.” “Boys are encouraged to develop close personal relationships with (Scout) leaders because Boy Scouts believes that providing a close personal relationship with an adult outside the home helps boys in the difficult process of maturing into adulthood.”
Further, the BSA took on a duty to protect the boys within its organization. “Youth protection is of paramount importance to the Boy Scouts of America.” Ironically, the BSA claims that it has been working to protect youth in Scouting from various dangers – including child abuse – for almost 100 years.