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David CO

Eagle Scout Shown Leniency

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There is a news article online today that says an 16 year old boy who has been accused of sexually assaulting a girl in New Jersey was shown leniency by the judge because he is from a good family, has good grades, and is an eagle scout. 

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A crime is a crime and should be treated as such no matter the background. 16 is certainly old enough to understand that is wrong 

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So much for achieving the principle aims of scouting. 

I have said before, the the first requirement for all ranks "show scout spirit" is the most important and far too often is simply signed off automatically. 

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Posted (edited)

The story broke yesterday:  https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/n-j-judge-spared-teen-rape-suspect-because-he-came-n1026111

NBC doesn't mention "Eagle Scout" until the end of the article.  Other news outlets aren't being so charitable (with headlines screaming "Eagle Scout Rape Suspect!")

Bad situation all around.

Edited by AltadenaCraig
finished parenthesis

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This happens every now and then, an Eagle does a really bad thing. The only time I remember the media hanging on to it very long is when an Eagle tortured a gay man. Even then it was less about the Eagle and more about intolerance.

Barry

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

This happens every now and then, an Eagle does a really bad thing. 

 

I have never seen any appreciable difference in good/bad behavior between the Boy Scouts and the rest of the students in my classes. The Boy Scouts behave about the same as everyone else. Some are good and some are bad. One of the worst behaved students in my Health class this year happened to be an eagle scout, OA member, and senior patrol leader. His bad behavior at school doesn't seem to be taken into consideration by his scout unit when evaluating his scouting spirit.

I think the reason this story is receiving so much attention is not because the boy is an eagle scout, but because the judge used his status as an eagle scout as a justification for giving him more lenient treatment. This is wrong. An eagle badge should not be used as a "get out of jail free" card.

Edited by David CO
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Priest, police officer,  politician (pick a position), military officer, Eagle Scout....    Many are seen as role models, as examples of the "light side".   When bad things happen and are brought to light,  it is only right that their previous expectation of "good behavior"  be mentioned.  

Yes. we need to make known the good stuff Scouts do.  the 95% of the world that goes about it's business, treats their fellow humans fairly and respectfully is often ignored by the press.  

This young man learned what is right , but fell short in his behavior.  He learned how to behave with the opposite sex from... who?   Perhaps he needs to consider that.  Perhaps the judge needs to consider that too.   Good grades,  school record,  Scouting, and …   add up to a soft slap on the wrist or a harsher punishment?  "well, I got caught this time...." How often did this occur before he "got caught"? 

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5 hours ago, Natgeo2019 said:

A crime is a crime and should be treated as such no matter the background. 16 is certainly old enough to understand that is wrong 

If anything, having gone through all it takes to become an Eagle Scout, he should have known better even moreso than other boys his age. 

I would be more inclined to hold him MORE accountable, not less.

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10 minutes ago, Liz said:

I would be more inclined to hold him MORE accountable, not less.

I wouldn't go that far. 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, SSScout said:

He learned how to behave with the opposite sex from... who?   

Interesting that you should ask that. This exact scenario is discussed in the sex education unit of my Health class. We teach our students that an intoxicated person cannot consent to sex. Having sex at a party with an intoxicated person is rape.

Sadly, this is not a rare or unusual occurrence at a teenage drinking party. It happens all the time.

I don't think the boy in this case had any misunderstanding about what he was doing. In his emails to his friends, bragging about his crime, he described his sexual encounter as a rape. He knew what he was doing, and he knew that it was a crime.

 

 

Edited by David CO

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Absolutely agree @David CO that the accused is an Eagle Scout should not be a condition for receiving a lighter sentence. I doubt anybody on this forum would disagree with us.  I won't say that the law should judge him more harshly for the crime because he's an Eagle, but I certainly view him more harshly because of it. Certainly if your follow up post detailing his emails are correct, I can't see how the judge came to the conclusion to be lenient.

As @SSScout said, there are figures in society we hold up as role models for others, and Scouts, Eagle Scouts and Scout leaders are typically in that category. It's cases that remind me that Eagle Scout is not a Sainthood or a Knighthood, but rather a set of requirements. The meaning of Eagle Scout is what the Scout does to earn Eagle, and who he becomes while earning it and what he does afterward. 

Certainly there can be other influences in a young person's life that can override the moral and ethical training they receive from their parents, religion, school or Scouts. Even within those aforementioned groups, sometimes those influences can be harmful (not all parents are good, not all Scout Troops have a healthy culture.) 
 

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I think the more scary issue for me is the Judge basically let the whole thing off cause this kid was from a "good family"  about to go to a "good school" and also being an Eagle Scout.  Here you have the victim having to deal with this and the kid is given a slap on the wrist.  This is a stain on our justice system in this county.  The character of the individual should not be a reason to get a person off, it should be the facts of the case (in this case a video that was sent around and also langue of the texts from the individual)  I am glad to see the judge is no longer on the bench and the Appeals Court has sent this back down to a grand jury to review this for the appropriate next steps.  The judge was wrong in his responsibilities.  There is no win in this situation, it is just a loose loose situation for everyone.  It is examples like this case that reinforces myself to strive to teach our scouts the skills our program teaches.  Ethics, citizenship, leadership and others must be taught to prevent these types of travesties within our government institutions.

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9 hours ago, David CO said:

.. the judge used his status as an eagle scout as a justification for giving him more lenient treatment. This is wrong. An eagle badge should not be used as a "get out of jail free" card.

Maybe. But if it is, might well tell the scouts they have one more reason to hustle up and make rank. :(

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