Turley returned to Canada, where he continued his involvement with Scouts Canada. Sometime in the 1980s, Turley was added to Scouts Canada’s “confidential list” and asked to resign from the Scouts. He was later arrested in 1988 for sexually assaulting a child at a swimming pool and served 30 days in jail. However, it wasn’t until a suspicious girlfriend reported him to police in 1995 that any significant investigation took place. Turley was eventually convicted of abusing four boys and spent five years in prison, followed by seven years of supervised parole. Turley, who has completed an intense sex-offender program, admits to having at least a dozen victims over the years and feels that scouting was an easy way to find boys to molest.
Scouts Exclusively Protecting Their Own
The system used by the Scouts in both Canada and the United States appeared to be uniquely designed to protect their own, with a complete lack of regard for the implications to those outside of their community. The CBC reported that a confidential 1972 policy memo urged Boy Scout officials who are dealing with molesters to “indicate [to the accused molester] that the BSA is not sharing this information with anyone and only wish him to stop all Scouting activity.” In the case of Turley, Scouts executive Buford Hill told the Los Angeles Times that “the parents of the three boys agreed to not press charges if he would leave…” and further added “hopefully he went back to Canada and that was their problem” (source: CBC).
Sex Abuse Claims Continue, Screening is Tightened
Meanwhile, in the United States, law suits continue to be filed against the Boy Scouts of America. Four new lawsuits have been filed recently, bringing the total to 35 complaints in 11 different states since 2007. Officials in both Canada and the United States claim that the screening of volunteers has been tightened in recent years. Turley, however, doesn’t think it is enough to stop people like him. He told the CBC, “Scouting is still a flawed movement. If I was a parent, I would never put my kids in Scouts.”
Photo credit: Hyougushi on flickr
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