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Inside the 'Perversion Files' of the Illinois Boy Scouts

Scouts were stripped naked and rubbed with ice cubes, forced to have oral sex with their troop leaders and molested on camping trips. These and other sex crimes are detailed in files the Boy Scouts of America kept secret for decades.

What do an elementary schoolteacher, a voodoo cultist, a shipping clerk and a prison guard have in common?

Each has a "perversion file" kept by the Boy Scouts of America in secret records that detail decades of sex abuse allegations.

Almost 300 cases involving men and Boy Scout troops throughout Illinois are among the 1,200 secret Boy Scout files released last week by order of the Oregon Supreme Court.

In Illinois, the files date to the 1960s and extend through the ensuing five decades. The Boy Scouts of America used these records to prevent blackballed Scout leaders from returning to the organization with other troops. The files are filled with correspondence between the leadership of the Scouts and troop leaders, interviews with Scouts and parents, as well as newspaper clippings about arrest reports and molestation trials.

Information in the files was used against the Boy Scouts in a 2010 lawsuit alleging six Scouts were molested by a Scout Master in the 1980s. The Oregon firm representing the six Scouts in the lawsuit fought for the release of the secret “perversion files” and ultimately won a $20 million judgment. The records were submitted to the court under seal as evidence in the lawsuit, but Oregon’s high court ordered the files to be opened to the public.

These records were so secret even some Boy Scout leaders didn't know they existed. The files have been posted to the web in recent days. The names of volunteers expelled by the Boy Scouts are included in many but not all of the files, and victims’ names have been redacted.

PATCH DATABASE: Search for your town and troop in the Illinois "perversion files"

Wayne Perry, the national president of the Boy Scouts of America, released the following statement: “There have been instances where people misused their positions in Scouting to abuse children, and in certain cases, our response to these incidents and our efforts to protect youth were plainly insufficient, inappropriate, or wrong. Where those involved in Scouting failed to protect, or worse, inflicted harm on children, we extend our deepest and sincere apologies to victims and their families.”

Who were those victims and families?

In Joliet, the boys of Troop 239 fell victim to a prison guard during a camping trip. In Bensenville, the boys in Troop 444 were forced to strip naked for their troop leader so he could rub ice cubes on their bodies. In Oak Lawn, the Scout leader for Troop 1600 forced his boys to endure oral sex. A boy from Troop 294 in Chicago was sexually assaulted three times during a single trip to a Naperville campground.

These are just four cases in the hundreds of Illinois files involving troops in Batavia, Chicago Heights, Downers Grove, Forest Park, Frankfort, Joliet, Naperville, Oak Lawn, Plainfield, St. Charles, Wheaton and dozens of other Illinois communities.

While expelling suspected sexual predators from its ranks, the Boy Scouts also kept the abuse under wraps and failed to report some Scout leaders to the authorities. Several letters in the files reveal Scout leadership's expressed intent to keep the reported sex crimes "confidential."

No longer confidential, here is a glimpse into the Boy Scouts of America "perversion files." Patch will continue to report on all Chicago-area files as they are opened to the public.

JOLIET, CUB PACK 239 AND SCOUT TROOP 239

In 1970, Patrick Farrell was a 40-year-old state prison guard, a Cubmaster with Cub Pack 239 and assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 239. A year into his duty with the Scouts, allegations arose that he molested boys in his care. But three months after Farrell quit the Scouts, the BSA was reluctant to blacklist him, according to his file.

Earl L. Krall, a director with the Boy Scouts, sent a Jan. 28, 1971, letter to Rainbow Council Scout Executive Alfred I. Gardner asking for “some concrete evidence of his antisocial behavior.” Two months later, Krall got his concrete evidence in the form of a newspaper clipping recounting Farrell’s conviction for “'taking indecent liberties' with two boys at a LaSalle County campground.”

The newspaper clip in the file states that Farrell was sentenced to two years in prison.

“This is precisely the type of information we need for our file,” Boy Scouts Registration and Membership Supervisor Paul Ernst wrote of the clipping in April 1971, noting that such information “should help us in the future, should this individual ever again attempt to register in the scouting program."

BENSENVILLE, SCOUT TROOP 444

In Bensenville, the boys of Bensenville Moose Lodge Boy Scout Troop 444 were told they needed to get naked as part of their initiation into the Scouts. In this file, signed testimony from several Scouts details how an Elmhurst man, in his 20s at the time told the boys to lie down naked while the Scout leader rubbed ice on them.

"Initiation consisted of me taking down my pants and off my shirt in front of the other boys, who told me he also did it to them," one 14-year-old boy wrote in June 1975. "This was about 9 or 10 months ago at Whitewater. He used a little cube of ice and rubbed it on my belly, thy (thigh) and once in a while on my penis while I was lying down."

The assistant Scoutmaster claimed in a letter to Boy Scout leadership that the troop leader admitted to assaulting 13 boys in the troop after parents came forward in June of 1975.

A letter to the accused from Scout Executive Walter Johnson, dated June 24, 1975, states: "After careful review, we have decided that your registration with the Boy Scouts of America should be suspended. … Please also understand that this decision and the reasons for it will be maintained as confidential."

There is nothing in the file to indicate whether this abuse was reported to police or if the Scout leader in question was ever arrested and prosecuted.

OAK LAWN, SCOUT TROOP 1600

In Oak Lawn, Thomas Hacker crafted the public persona of a wholesome family man and schoolteacher. But Hacker was able to hide his secret past of abusing young boys from his employers, friends, neighbors—and the Boy Scouts of America. The earliest record in Hacker’s “perversion” file is a “confidential record sheet” dated June 8, 1970, in which a Boy Scout official recommends that Hacker be placed  in the “ineligible volunteer file” after he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy in Indianapolis.

Hacker's sentence of one to five years in an Indiana prison was suspended on the stipulation he receive psychiatric treatment. Hacker received permission to relocate to Chicago’s northwest suburbs, where a year later he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of indecent liberties with a child. But Hacker does not appear in the Boy Scout perversion files again until 17 years later—after he was charged with six counts of aggravated sexual assault for molesting three Boy Scouts, ages 11 and 13, from St. Louis de Montfort Church in Oak Lawn in 1988, according to published news reports in his confidential file.

Eventually, he would be charged with 25 counts of having oral sex with underage Boy Scouts. At his 1989 trial, Cook County prosecutors said Hacker was able to elude the Boy Scouts of America’s internal controls for tracking pedophiles by changing his middle initial. He was convicted and is currently is serving a 30-year prison sentence. He is listed as a “sexually dangerous person” in the Illinois Sex Offender Registry.

CHICAGO, SCOUT TROOP 294

The first inkling that Boy Scout Troop 294 from Douglas Park had a leadership problem surfaced at a “Camporee” in May 1977, when troop leaders were said to be playing cards and imbibing in alcoholic beverages while supervising the youths. A month later, a pair of twenty-something Scoutmasters would be arrested and charged with several counts of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy at a Boy Scout camp near Naperville.

According to news reports of the day, Charles Fugate, of Chicago, whose hobby was “voodoo cultism,” lured the 11-year-old to the woods under the pretense of earning a merit badge and then sexually assaulted him. The boy was assaulted two more times on the camping trip, including another attack in a tent as another Boy Scout slept.

Chicago police arrested Fugate after the 11-year-old boy’s father confronted the 22-year-old assistant Scoutmaster at his home. He was released without charges when police learned the assault occurred in DuPage County. Fugate went on the lam until he surrendered himself to authorities a few days later.

Patrick Allen Weglarz was charged with concealing a fugitive — Fugate — as well as two counts of contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor. Weglarz was alleged to have been present during two of the attacks on the 11-year-old boy. Astonishingly, both Scout leaders were allowed to take a group of Boy Scouts camping the weekend after their arrests, where another assault occurred.

A DuPage County record of criminal indictment said that Welgarz “placed his mouth on the sex organ” of the victim. Welgarz, 26 at the time, and his 22-year-old assistant, were charged with taking indecent liberties with a 12-year-old Boy Scout.

EXPELLED SCOUT LEADERS: Search for your town in the Illinois "perversion files"

Emily October 24, 2012 at 02:12 AM
I am failing to understand you version of rational thinking. First off, my friends are not GAY, they are gay. Second, if you think pedophiles are just adults that are nice and work especially well with children then I suppose every school teacher, day care worker, child care giver, nanny, baby sitter are pedophiles? Or does this only relate to men? No, I don't know what people do when I am not around but that goes for everyone in the world not just my gay friends.
Pro Life Crusader + October 24, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Ignore Emily ! She hates religion too and she attacks anyone she disagrees with!
Emily October 24, 2012 at 02:15 AM
That isn't true at all. I respect every religion. I just don't want someone telling me I have to live by their choices. And this has nothing to do with this thread.
Pro Life Crusader + October 24, 2012 at 02:16 AM
Put a damn GPS in the scum bag child molesters and castrate them after they are convicted!
Pro Life Crusader + October 24, 2012 at 02:30 AM
Even better yet lock up all child molesters for life in a cell 24/7 and give them electro shock treatment everyday until they drool on themselves!
cari October 24, 2012 at 02:58 AM
We should all be supporting the former children/children these unimaginable acts happened to. Stick to the issue this article was written about....not arguing. To take advantage of a child and to instill that kind of fear into them is an unforgivable crime. I hope all the names of these monsters are put on the front cover of every major news paper out there....then lock them up and throw away the key.
Will County Resident October 24, 2012 at 03:23 AM
I suggest the people who covered it up go to jail. I suggest the police officers who refused to prosecute scout leaders that admitted to molesting children also go to jail. Anyone involved in this whole thing should be thrown in jail.
Will County Resident October 24, 2012 at 03:24 AM
Wrong. The common factor of these crimes is the organization tries to cover it up. If every sexual predator in boyscouts was reported to the police and thrown in jail, I would have no problem with them. But they aren't. The boyscouts did everything they could to bury this.
Will County Resident October 24, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Go ahead, suspend the comment thread. Then we can all get back to putting 200+ comments on the "create a caption" articles or comment on the presidential political cartoons. You know, something that "matters."
Tired of the B.S. October 24, 2012 at 03:37 AM
What is wrong with you? Not everything is about religion. This story concerns the BSA and has nothing to do with religion. I'm not sure if you even understand what religion truly is. You curse, you name call and you advocate violence. These are not part of any religion I know. Now, as for the BSA and their cover-up of what happened, there is no excuse for this. How can anybody keep stuff like that a secret? I think that if you knew that a child was being abused and did noting to stop it, you are just as guilty as the abuser.
Dennis Robaugh (Editor) October 24, 2012 at 04:51 AM
Comments on this post are now set to moderate overnight. We'll review them and publish in the morning.
Jim McMahon October 24, 2012 at 04:58 AM
I graduated from St Louis DeMontefort in 1982, Father Mayday and Mr Hacker were working there at that time. I never joined the Cub scouts or became an later boy like my siblings did. I knew Mark and Stephanie Hacker (Hackers children), very nice kids and got a long well with everyone. Ft Mayday was strange, according to students who worked with him he would offer .25 cents if you gave him a neck massage...freakin gross! I'm not sure if pedophilia has anything to do with being gay, since most pedophiles are straight married men. Either way this cover up by the church and cub scouts is disgusting to say the least, As a Father of an 8 year old boy I would only be satisfied with the death penalty for each of these sick and twisted calculated perverted rejects. I hope there is a hell so they can dwell in it for all eternity.
Jim McMahon October 24, 2012 at 05:13 AM
http://www.fox11online.com/dpp/news/local/fox_cities/pedophile-ex-priest-makes-plea-to-judge http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwe7II17Sac
momofmany October 24, 2012 at 01:14 PM
The whole thing just makes me sad because it is the few, the exception that are the reason the majority of us adult leaders are being judged today. We put our heart into scouting & it is hard to take when someone blindly steps all over it based on the actions of a few. I have come into scouting recently & have strived to be the best example I can be for my children, other peoples children & the adults I train. The adults I volunteer with & myself all have the youth's best interest at heart & strive every day to help them become the best they can be & to keep them safe at all times. What has happened in the past is inexcusable but it does not mean ALL scout leaders behave that way.
Vincent Russell October 24, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Can we get the secret files for all the public school teachers that did the same heinous crimes from the 1960's -- 1990's or are they exempt. Can we get the secret files on the Jewish synagogues, YMCA's, Boys Clubs, Lutheran Church, etc, or are they exempt too. Molesters come in all shapes and sizes. The Boy Scouts are not alone in not disclosing information on these criminals, it was just the way things were handled back then -- internally. Today, we have tremendous awareness of the problem and control of the situations so the molesters have gone underground, like in the their basement looking at children on the internet. Sad but true, this is a problem across all people. But realize, folks, this is .005% of the population.
Angela Nelson October 25, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Glad the scout and alot if parents do things differently now. We are now taught to stand up for our selves and not to believe any authority, when it comes to our bodies. Informing our children/ listening to all accusations / taking action. Is the only power against these sickos!
Lee Shell October 25, 2012 at 06:17 AM
Since you're on your pulpit, one would think you would include your name.
Lee Shell October 25, 2012 at 06:18 AM
Just ironic that this homophobic organization took such care to hide their straight perverts.
TG October 25, 2012 at 12:48 PM
They didn't
Dutch Oven Chef October 25, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Wow, that's a really bad comment Michelle. I was a Cub Scout/Boy Scout leader for over 10 years. Sure we "played" with the boys but we also taught them skills, worked with them to build character and taught them things that will help them in life. In some cases, I was one of the only male authority figures in their lives as their fathers were not interested/around to help them. So, in my world, it was very normal for me to want to work with and mentor these boys and help them grow into fine young men.
scouter October 25, 2012 at 03:47 PM
I am a member of this organization and the changes in it, since I joined, have been astonishing. There is Youth Protection Training, 2 Deep Leadership required and, instead of reporting to the Council first, you call the police first. You can request a copy of a report by Dr Janet I Warren's report and you can also ask about the Scoutings 5 Point Plan to Combat ALL child abuse. To be a leader, you have to go through a rigorous background check and you have to be trained in Youth Protection. We also STRONGLY encourage parents to step up and to lead and to get trained. Vigilance is what protects our youth - not turning your head or ignoring the problem. And, I have to tell you, even if you tell the police and call, they don't always file charges or do anything - so this 'secret' list is sometimes the only way that the Organization can keep those we don't want near our scouts away. Unfortunately, we can't just look at someone and see a molester - and, unfortunately, everyone ASSUMES that molesters are gay (and traditionally they are white married men!), and they are not. Molesting someone is not about being gay - it's about power and control and getting your rocks off on someone else's fear. We have to empower our youth to stand up against anyone who pushes them to do things they don't want to do - and to REPORT IT. Scout leaders are now REQUIRED to report any allegations or suspicions or anything that doesn't feel right. It's up to the police department from there.
TG October 25, 2012 at 03:49 PM
There seems to be a huge difference between Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. That is where the problem started for the BSA. Cubs were mostly den mothers and things at home. Boy Scouts was were the children were taken out of the homes and into the world of men by men. That what makes these crimes so awful.
Edward Andrysiak October 25, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Scouter...you are the first to mention "empowering our youth to stand up" etc. I read lot about training the leaders in these posts but I am begining to think we need a required presentation for incoming scouts on bullying and on the dangers of becoming a victum to a child molester. As a kid I was taught to be aware of kidnappers (although I'm sure anyone who grabbed me would have given me back in two days)...point being, we need to sit our kids down and be frank and honest with them and tell them *exactly* what to watch for and why and to report it immediately. Make the reporting process very easy and even by written note, unsigned, if they feel uncomfortable steping up. It's the kids who are running around here in lala land because no one has told them of the exact dangers envolved in this very unplesant circumstance. We need to be more frank in the telling so the kids can begin to protect themselves to some greater degree than at present. Tell them what the "signs" are so they can protect themselves. Parents should be given a printed guide on what and how to cover this subject if they object to the organization doing it...maybe do both. Or, require the fact sheet initialled by the kid and parents as "being covered".
scouter October 25, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Edward - the fact sheet that you mention is actually a whole pamphlet in the front of EACH of the Cub Scout level books and parents are required to cover that material with their scouts. It has been in for the last 15+ years that I can remember, and, unfortunately I don't believe that all parents are as vigilant as they need to be. IF a parent ignores a child, and a child then comes to a leader, we, as leaders, are required to report any abuse that a child tells us about. I have reported a suspected case of physical abuse, because the scout talked to me, and the child was removed from that parent's custody. The other parent was then given custody, and the child has turned out to be a warm, loving and wonderful young man. We still keep in contact and I am thankful that he trusted me with his story.
Mary October 25, 2012 at 09:43 PM
To SoeakingUp, I'm actually very angry at your patents ignorance. If any of my 3 kids came to me about something that just didn't seem proper I would never ever turn my head on them without investing at least privately first. Past times or present times. I'm sorry you had to go through any of that. Mary
Tired of the B.S. October 25, 2012 at 09:54 PM
scouter, Apparently, not everyone ASSUMES that molesters are gay, you think that they are "traditionally white married men". As a white, married man, I find that to be as insulting as any other stereo-type. Interesting data from the Department of Justice: *blacks are 4.3 times more likely to molest children in the US than whites.(ojp.usdoj.gov ).
Kelly October 25, 2012 at 11:28 PM
I agree - the death penalty seems fair for taking the innocence of these children. The shame should not be carried by the victims by by the adults who did this, who ignorned the signs and pleas, those who covered it up and all of us who do not decry the current lack of strictly enforced penalities for these crimes.
Paulette Delcourt October 26, 2012 at 04:05 AM
The scouts have extensive training on this and show the boys a video. Unfortunately, any place where children gather can place them in harms way, even a playground. So sad. Any change in behavior should make a parent suspicious.
Dave Smith October 26, 2012 at 06:04 AM
I saw one Oprah show that I will never forget, and it spelled out EXACTLY how these people work: They will spot a child who may be a bit under confident or damaged. Then they befriend the parent, faking things in common. Then they may wait up to ONE YEAR before they strike. By then the child and family might love the guy as a family friend, or Uncle type. That is what is called, “grooming” the child. THEN they wait until there is enough trust to take the kid for a camping trip, or with HIS family on vacation. By that time, they know exactly what to do, what they can get away with, and they KNOW that kid won’t tell. By that time, THE KID, AND EVEN THE PARENTS ARE HELPLESS TO STOP IT. After writing that, I have to go take a shower. Parents should ask themselves one question: Is there a friend of ours who pals around with our kid, when we are not around? If so, no matter how close you are to that friend, no matter how much you trust him, sit down with your kid and have a LONG TALK. My heart goes out to anybody who went through that horrible pain. Things were much different back then. Men were free to rape their wives, if they did not consent to sex. There was NO SUCH THING as date-rape. If a kid was abused, many authorities looked the other way, or gave the perp 1 month in a psyche ward. If pulled over for driving drunk, the Cop might let it go, and escort you home. Family secrets were always swept under the rug, never to be revealed to the light of day.

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