Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
RememberSchiff

Louisville (KY) - Explorer Post Abuse Scandal

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

In March, 2017,  Louisville Mayor  Greg Fischer shut down the police Explorer program following reports of abuse and cover-up. On Wed., a 90 page investigative report was released. It was written by former U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey who was hired by Mayor Fischer.

Despite recommendations about how to make the Louisville police department's Explorer Scout program safer, Mayor Greg Fischer and Chief Steve Conrad said they have no plans to revive it.

Three Metro Council members who reviewed the unredacted version of an investigatory report commissioned by the city said they would never let their own children participate in the program.

Timeline  2016-present

https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/local/2018/06/27/louisville-metro-police-explorer-sex-abuse-scandal-timeline/739016002/

But U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey, who ran the investigation, noted that sex abuse of Scouts was not limited to the allegations in Louisville.

The Courier Journal reported in 2017 that over the past 40 years, at least 137 girls and 26 boys in Explorer programs across the nation have been raped, seduced, fondled, kissed, dated or otherwise exploited in 28 states by at least 129 law enforcement officers, firefighters and other advisers. Some cities that suspended Explorer programs decided never to revive them, the story said.

Councilwoman Jessica Green, a Democrat, said her 9-year-old son has expressed interest in being a detective with the department's canine unit and the Explorer program would have been good for him, but she wouldn’t allow him to participate.

 

"At this juncture, I don’t know if the Explorer program would ever come back, but even if it did, as a parent, I think it just hits you in the gut when you read these kind of allegations, so no, I unequivocally would not send my baby," she said.

....

Sources and video:

https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/2018/06/28/louisville-explorer-scouts-not-reviving-mayor/742051002/

http://www.wdrb.com/story/38510968/what-we-hope-to-learn-from-the-lmpd-sex-scandal-investigation

Edited by RememberSchiff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's bad, obviously.  According to this, 163 youth participants in Exploring have been abused over the past 40 years, nationwide.  (Which goes back to when Exploring included what is now Venturing.)   Leaving aside how they got that number, I wonder how many children have been abused in school, at home or in other settings - including Boy Scouts, for that matter - over the past 40 years.  Not that this excuses anything, and I do understand the reaction of course, but if people are going to shut down Explorer posts because of this, then a lot of other things would have to be shut down as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Presumably release of the 90 page report was delayed (from March) as there are at least 6 lawsuits against the city (LMPD), Boy Scouts of America, Betts and Curtis Flaherty, the former head of the Explorer program.

http://www.wdrb.com/story/37725991/unsealed-lawsuit-claims-former-lmpd-officer-sexually-assaulted-teen-over-three-year-period

My search continues to find the safety recommendations in the 90 page report.

Edited by RememberSchiff
correction regarding redact or delay of report

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, NJCubScouter said:

That's bad, obviously.  According to this, 163 youth participants in Exploring have been abused over the past 40 years, nationwide.  (Which goes back to when Exploring included what is now Venturing.)   Leaving aside how they got that number, I wonder how many children have been abused in school, at home or in other settings - including Boy Scouts, for that matter - over the past 40 years.  Not that this excuses anything, and I do understand the reaction of course, but if people are going to shut down Explorer posts because of this, then a lot of other things would have to be shut down as well.

Like the Chicago Public Schools (http://graphics.chicagotribune.com/chicago-public-schools-sexual-abuse/index.html)?  This is from the story if you scroll down:

Quote

To better quantify the frequency of abuse in Chicago’s schools, reporters obtained and analyzed Chicago police data on such crimes from 2008 through 2017. Police investigated 523 reports that children were sexually assaulted or abused inside city public schools during that 10-year period, or an average of one report each week, the data show.

If you want to be more generous:

Quote

After the Tribune threatened to file a lawsuit to force public disclosure of basic CPS documents and data related to sexual misconduct, the district acknowledged that its Law Department had investigated 430 reports that school employees had sexually abused, assaulted or harassed students since 2011.

In 230 of these cases, or more than half, investigators found credible evidence of misconduct, the district said.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, NJCubScouter said:

That's bad, obviously.  According to this, 163 youth participants in Exploring have been abused over the past 40 years, nationwide.  (Which goes back to when Exploring included what is now Venturing.)   Leaving aside how they got that number, I wonder how many children have been abused in school, at home or in other settings - including Boy Scouts, for that matter - over the past 40 years.  Not that this excuses anything, and I do understand the reaction of course, but if people are going to shut down Explorer posts because of this, then a lot of other things would have to be shut down as well.

The priest of our local Catholic Church raped a 13 yr old scout in the 70's.  Their two units move elsewhere as did the priest.  I moved here in 1990 and  unaware of this, I tried to revive the unit as the Church had a great meeting place and storage. I got a quick blunt education from parents. More than 40 years later, scouting did not return and this Church has its own youth group.

Edited by RememberSchiff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Redacted report

https://louisvilleky.gov/sites/default/files/mayors_office/redacted.pdf

Page 67. The report states 

"The misconduct within the Explorer program did not occur because of lack of appropriate policies and procedures.  Rather, it occurred because these procedures were not properly followed, implemented, and supervised."

The next page cites examples by adult leaders and Explorers (youth) but affirms "Youth protection, however, is the responsibility of adults."

Ride-alongs (no two-deep) and digital communications (no one-on-one contact) were cited.

"Betts and Woods repeatedly violated the prohibition on digital communications. Text, Snap Chat, and Facebook messanging appear to be the primary manner in which Betts and Woods communicate with their victims. Had  Betts and Woods followed the required protocol and not texted Explorers, many of the sexual relationships would likely not have developed."

Edited by RememberSchiff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once again, we are dealing with a lack of relative risk. Policy makers don't need to compare the rate of abuse in an extracurricular program to rates in school. They need to compare it to rates of abuse at home.

Unfortunately, nobody gets sued for cancelling a program and sending kids home and putting them at increased risk of abuse by a relative or friend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eight recommendations from redacted report are on pages 83-85. which I recommend reading. I will just type the 8 bullets here.

https://louisvilleky.gov/sites/default/files/mayors_office/redacted.pdf

1. Advising the Explorer Post should be an Assigned Duty, Not a Volunteer Effort.

2. Explorer Advisors should be rotated out of the program on a regular basis.

3. The Chief Explorer Advisor Should be a Senior Officer.

4.  The Chief Explorer Advisor Should be changed every 18-24 months.

5. Establish a Minimum Age (30) to Serve as an Explorer Advisor.

6. Recruit Parents of Explorers to serve as sponsors along with LMPD officers.

7. Limit Participation in the Explorer Posts to Those Under the Age of 18.

8. End the practice of ride-alongs. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sad news indeed.

I like the recommendations. They look well thought out and useful at other units.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm beginning to sympathize with the Mayor. The suggestions make for a program that is unworkable and unappealing.

More over, the whole tone of the report is demoralizing. Think about it, if "your own" aren't safe in a ride-along, what about when some cop picks up some kid violating curfew?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/29/2018 at 10:18 AM, RememberSchiff said:

The priest of our local Catholic Church raped a 13 yr old scout in the 70's.  Their two units move elsewhere as did the priest.  I moved here in 1990 and  unaware of this, I tried to revive the unit as the Church had a great meeting place and storage. I got a quick blunt education from parents. More than 40 years later, scouting did not return and this Church has its own youth group.

Sadly, it sounds like the are not willing to admit what the problem was.  Scouting was not the cause of the rape.  Scouting was not the problem them, and is still not the problem.  Do they truly believe that their own youth group is currently immune to adults sexually abusing the youth, but if they had a Scout program, then the abuse would resume? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, awanatech said:

Sadly, it sounds like the are not willing to admit what the problem was.  Scouting was not the cause of the rape.  Scouting was not the problem them, and is still not the problem.  Do they truly believe that their own youth group is currently immune to adults sexually abusing the youth, but if they had a Scout program, then the abuse would resume? 

They know the problem was the Church cover-up  and feel their scouts are safer with other CO's.. IMO, Scouting has more work to do regarding YP,  an education-only solution is not enough as this case shows and the BSA should consider the recommendations given.

 

Edited by RememberSchiff
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let us not ignore the simple facts.  If rules and barriers in place are not monitored and followed, including IMMEDIATE response to problems, then there will be abuse or bending of the fuzzy lines.  This, as has been noted, is not just a BSA problem.  It occurs in any group of youth and adults when they interact.  And expecting ALL adults to be mentally and emotionally strong enough to keep the barriers in place, even when hormonal adolescents may be involved may be foolish.  That is why the two-deep and no one and one are there.  People are people, and most try to meet expected standards of society and if the first line defenses are followed, then most problems are avoided.  Still, nothing is absolute, and vigilance is still the final best option.  

 

FOLLOW ALL ELEMENTS OF YP AND MOST PROBLEMS WILL NOT OCCUR, AND IF THEY DO APPEAR THEY WILL BE DEALT WITH EARLY ENOUGH TO HEAD THE LARGER FIASCO OFF AT THE PASS.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

Sadly, this is the BSAs problem as well, no?

In the matter of the Boston Diocese abuse, that would depend if the BSA knew and the  Diocese certainly was not telling anyone - parents, police, BSA and the victims were  nearly totally intimidated.

IMO, if the BSA can police their brand trademarks, they can police their units. Restore the power that commissioners once had to enforce the program complete with confrontation - the beat cop. Back in the day (before YP), when our "neighborhood commissioner" visited ,he spoke separately with the SPL and PL's. before talking to adults. Not that we had many beefs beyond camporees being in cow fields.

I continue to see new scouting abuse cases in the media and wonder what more we should be doing. 

My $0.02,

 

Edited by RememberSchiff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×