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BSA hold 1967 file on former Auburn, Roseville leader

LA Times recently pulled decades of records
By: Amber Marra, Journal Staff Writer
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The Boy Scouts of America had to open a file on an Auburn and Roseville scout leader in 1967 after it was found that he engaged in "lewd and lascivious behavior involving a 13-year-old boy," according to documents pulled by the LA Times.

The LA Times recently obtained files from the Boy Scouts of America ranging from 1947 to 2005. The files are kept by the Boy Scouts on any member within the organization that has been blocked due to suspected sexual molestation.

The Boy Scouts of America were ordered by the Oregon Supreme Court to release the files and since then more than 1,200 have been released and analyzed by the LA Times.

Hundreds of files have been opened on Boy Scout leaders, both men and women, in California. A list of those who have been blocked from reentering the Boy Scouts, including troop numbers and the locations, can be found at www.LATimes.com/BoyScouts. Some files are currently incomplete or missing the documentation that goes with them within the database.

One of the files opened in 1967 pertains to Raymond L. Thomas. At the time, Thomas was residing in Roseville and was involved with scouting troops in both Roseville and Auburn between 1961 and 1967, according to the confidential record sheet kept by the Division of Personnel in the Boy Scouts of America.

Thomas is described as a divorced sheet metal worker within the confidential record.

According to the record, the file was opened on Thomas to keep him from reentering the scouts in any capacity after he "pleaded guilty to a Grand Jury that indicted him of lewd and lascivious behavior involving a 13-year-old boy." The document is signed by Gerald McHale, the scout executive of the Tahoe Area Council at the time.

Thomas was 43 in 1967.

The file on Thomas contains several letters between McHale and Howard Boyd, the director of registration of the Boy Scouts of America at the time. The letters from Boyd ask for any newspaper clippings, court documents or criminal complaints regarding Thomas.

The first newspaper clipping included in the file is from the Placer Herald dated July 12, 1967. The clipping details how Thomas was sent to Atascadero State Hospital "as a mentally disturbed sex offender." Other clippings from the Placer Herald dated June 7, 1967, state that Thomas pleaded guilty to a Grad Jury indictment accusing him of "lewd and lascivious behavior with a 13-year-old boy."

At the time, Thomas was registered as post committeeman of Post 2011 in Roseville, was previously post advisor to Post 11 in Roseville and scoutmaster to Troop 14, also in Roseville, according to one of the letters from McHale to Delmer Wilson, division of personnel of the Boy Scouts of America. Thomas is also listed as being involved with Troop 3 in Auburn.

In one of the final letters from McHale to Wilson dated June 14, 1967, McHale brings up issues with two other scout leaders involving "improper use of funds" in the Exploring program at the time. McHale indicates that the council decided to take no action against those leaders in the letter, in which he wrote that at least one was "guilty of deliberate dishonesty."

He goes on to address the matters involving Thomas and the two unnamed leaders of the Exploring program.

"These situations have practically destroyed the core of our Exploring program. We will be sure from now on that help in the selection of new leaders will avert repetition of similar situations," McHale wrote.

Another file was opened by the Boy Scouts of America on someone involved with Pack 6 in Meadow Vista in 2002, according to the LA Times database. No name is attached to the Meadow Vista file at this time and no documents containing specifics about the file are included.

Brent Stainback, scout executive to the Gold Country District of by Boy Scouts of America, deferred any questions regarding the files to Jim Martin, scout executive of the Golden Empire Council.

Martin said he had no knowledge of any of the files opened by the Boy Scouts of America on troop leaders in Placer County or any other area in the region. He also said the scouts have taken extra measures to deter predatory activity within the scouts, specifically that a rule was put in place that prohibits any adult in a leadership capacity or otherwise involved with the scouts from being alone with a scout unless they are directly related.

Martin also said scouts and leaders are put through "youth protection training" and that scouts are encouraged to "report, resist and tell" if they are inappropriately approached by an adult.

"Obviously there is nothing more important to the Boy Scouts of America than the safety of our scouts and we have worked very diligently to continue to enhance youth protection measures. Today we're looked at as on the leading edge of the effort to create barriers to make it difficult for those who would abuse their position of engagement with Boy Scouts or hurt scouts in any way," Martin said. "That is not a usual occurrence, finding a pedophile in our ranks, and it's not just a BSA problem, it's a societal problem that we take very seriously."

Contact Amber Marra at amberm@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @Amber_AJNews.