Former Columbia Man Named in Boy Scout Files
Reportedly sent sexually graphic letters to minors in Michigan after moving to Columbia.
A man who listed his address in Columbia in 1979 was named in the Boy Scout files released Oct. 18.
The man registered to become a scout leader in Columbia on June 14, 1979, according to documents in the file. At the time, he listed himself as 30 years old.
However, after seeking information about the man from his former troop in the Jackson area of Michigan, his application was rejected and placed in the Scouts’ “Confidential File.”
A June 7, 1979 letter from Kenneth W. Jarchow, a Council Executive for the Boy Scouts, states the man “has been involved with sexual relations with minors.” In addition, the file includes two letters allegedly written and signed by the man in question that he reportedly sent to two minors who were scouts in the Jackson area of Michigan in the ‘70s.
According to Jarchow’s letter, the man sent the letters to the minors after he left the Jackson area and moved to Columbia.
Because many of the men listed in the files have not been charged or convicted of crimes, some media outlets, including the Baltimore Sun and New York Times, have refrained from naming them without further investigating the allegations. Columbia Patch believes that is reasonable precaution.
In one of the two letters, the man describes his alleged sexual exploits with the boys.
It also contains his plea to the minors to keep what allegedly happened a secret:
Since [redacted] feels he will be able to handle the security necessary for these letters I won’t bother to write them in code. I haven’t had a chance to talk to you [redacted] but I get the idea your mom might tend to pry. In general, if you are both very careful, there shouldn’t be any problem. First, read them as quickly as possible and then tear them up and throw them in a trash can where someone won’t find the pieces. Like W.C.’s, dumpster maybe. To be very honest, if someone were to catch on to us, we’d (mostly me) be in a ... lot of trouble. I’d rather avoid that.
Both letters in the file are signed with the man's middle name.
Patch made contact with a man whose name matched the file, who lives in Texas. He said he moved from the Jackson area of Michigan, to Columbia when he was about 30. He denied the allegations in the files and said he hadn't seen or heard of the files.
He said he had been in the Boy Scouts when he was 11 or 12, but claimed he didn't serve as a leader. When asked for further information he ended the call.
In Jarchow’s letter regarding the man, he wrote the parents of the minors had turned the letters over to the family’s attorney, who notified the alleged abuser of the matter and told him, “no legal proceedings will be started at this time, but that [the alleged abuser] is to have no further contact with the boys back here in the Jackson area, and that the Boy Scout Organization has been informed of this matter.”
The "Boy Scout Files" were released on Oct. 18 in a sortable database by the law firm of Kelly Clark after an Oregon Supreme Court upheld a ruling in 2012 that they be released.
In the notes on their release, the law firms involved note, "[We] make no representations or suggestions that any of the allegations in these files are in every case true. In fact, we are in no position to verify or attest to the truth of these allegations as they were compiled by the Boy Scouts of America."
The Boy Scouts begain filing complaints against inappropriate leaders in the 1920s, according to the New York Times.
The Boy Scouts of America issued a statement about the files noting that today the organization requires background checks, training programs for volunteers, staff and youths as well as mandatory reporting of even suspected abuse.
"There have been instances where people misused their positions in Scouting to abuse children," wrote Wayne Perry, National President of Boy Scouts of America, "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 apologies to victims and their families."