According to the Times analysis of the case summaries, at least 47 percent of the men expelled from the Scouts for suspected abuse were single, and at least the same portion did not have a child in the program. Those numbers could both be higher, because in many files this information was not recorded. They came from all walks of life — teachers and plumbers, doctors and bus drivers, politicians and policemen. They ranged in age from teens to senior citizens and came from troops in every state. But the files suggest no single profile of a predator. Nevertheless, a closer look at nearly 1,900 confidential files opened between 1970 and 1991 revealed a pattern: Many suspected molesters engaged in what psychologists today call "grooming behavior", a gradual seduction in which predators lavish children with attention, favors and gifts.
The Los Angeles Times account also includes a database and a location map. The map can be maneuvered to display both Alaska and Hawaii; I've published a screenshot of the Alaska portion of the map below; note that the marker for the Kotzebue case was erroneously placed in the Lakes and Peninsula Borough:
In the Search box beneath the lower left hand corner of the LA Times map, you can type in a city or a state, and all the entries for the requested location will be displayed beneath. When I typed in Alaska, this is what I got (I omitted the erroneous reference to Tuscaloosa, which should have been in the Alabama list):
Seven of the 24 cases involved Scout units in Anchorage, which is proportionally lower than Anchorage's percentage of the state population. A surprisingly high seven cases involved Scout units in Metro Fairbanks, which includes Fairbanks, North Pole, and Eielson AFB. No other Alaska locations disproportionately stood out. This merely shows the number of documented cases; there could be more that were never reported. Documentation on some of the Alaska cases was published October 18th by the Anchorage Daily News.
Scouting officials prudently declined to be interviewed for the Times article, because it is appropriate for them to take time to review the coverage thoroughly so they can address the issue honestly and succintly in the public realm. However, BSA released a prepared statement by Mike Johnson, the organization's national youth protection director, who underscored the difficulty in identifying predators before they strike. "My nearly 30 years of experience as a detective who investigated child sexual abuse confirms what leading youth protection professionals know: There is no profile of a potential abuser," he said. Johnson then explained that this is why, in addition to using these files as a background screening tool, Scouting now requires a multitiered approach to youth protection, including criminal background checks, two adult leaders at all activities and the training of all youth in personal safety awareness, including teaching them to recognize, resist and report abuse. Many of those reforms were adopted in the late 1980s and early 1990s, as the Scouts were named in a growing number of lawsuits and cited in reports on sexual abuse.
Some preliminary reaction from local commenters:
JamesMason October 17th 6:20 P.M. (ADN):
I was a scout for six years total and never heard of any sort of inappropriate behavior. I know it happens, it just never happened where I was. Scouts are under attack because there is a group in the country that hates anything American. For a lot of boys the Scouts do great things. Many of the boys who were in Scouts with me never would have ventured beyond their suburban homes without scouting. Don't let the law industry and their ideologue comrades destroy something good.
jakflak October 17th 4:46 P.M. (ADN):
Three of my boys are in scouts here in Alaska. The rules up here are no adult is allowed alone with a child not their own. Ever. We've even had issues with travel because we have to juggle seats to insure it's never 1 on 1
woody woodrich October 17th 4:06 P.M. (ADN):
Pretty pathetic. And the BSA does not condone even the thought of a gay scout in their ranks.
I guess Woody Woodrich is so politically correct that he doesn't appreciate the irony of his comment. What does he think sexual abuse of Scouts is? It's man-on-boy contact -- SAME SEX. While homosexuality and pedophilia are not necessarily mutually inclusive, the line between the two blurs when it comes to adult males having sexual contact with teenage boys.