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Scout Leader Led Decades of Child Abuse

Scout Leader Led Decades of Child Abuse


Scouting officials helped cover up more than two decades of molestation from a leader who admitted to sexually assaulting children, according to a joint investigation by the Los Angeles Times and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

Rick Turley allegedly molested at least 15 children during his tenure as a scout leader for both the Boy Scouts of America and Canadian Scouting. Officials from an Orange County, Calif., chapter of the BSA even failed to report his actions after he admitted to molesting three boys in 1979.

After his stint in Southern California, Turley returned to Canada, where he joined Scouts Canada and continued abusing children.

Turley, 58, who now works at a truck stop motel in Alberta, Canada, said "it was easy," and that he was surprised at how he was able to get away with his actions.

A former Boy Scouts executive, A. Buford Hill, said he was simply following directions from the national organization by failing to report Turley's actions to police. "You do not want to broadcast to the entire population that these things happen," he said according to the Los Angeles Times. "You take care of it quietly and make sure it never happens again."

Turley's records have come up with 5,000 others who have been at least suspected of child molestation through the Boy Scouts, but kept under wraps. While the national organization has kept confidential files on molestation, conversely, the BSA has remained adamant about excluding openly gay people from becoming members or scout leaders because officials say allowing gays would expose children to sexuality.

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