Question: One characteristic of the child molester in the case of a Stephen Field who was expelled by the Boy Scouts is his persistence. So the Los Angeles Times recently writes in their report on the subject of Child Molesting. Stephen Field continued with the Boy Scouts, unbeknownst to the National Scouting Office after a period of being away due to his expulsion. He started back in another location. Would you say this is a typical practice in general by Child Molesters? Is the confidential or secret nature of the files held by the Boy Scouts on child molesters and suspected child molesters in their midst actually an impediment to keeping them out and having them prosecuted?
Shari Karney: The files that the Boy Scouts are keeping secret are similar to the files kept secret by the Roman Catholic Church. The only thing the secret files do is protect the perpetrator. If you are a parent of a child in the Boy Scouts, and your child was molested by a Scout Leader, how outraged would you be that the Scouts kept the file secret? Perpetrators count on silence. Silence does not protect the child. In the Penn State trial, when one child spoke out that helps to protect future generations of children. I believe the Boy Scouts, the Roman Catholic Church, and Universities should not keep secret files. Child Molesting thrives in privacy. One good example is Stephen Field of the Boy Scouts.
This is an incident reported in that same Los Angeles Times article: In September 1978, Scouting officials in North Carolina investigated the alleged abuse of a Scout by Mark F. Bumgarner, a 21-year-old assistant scoutmaster.
One night after most Scouts had retired to their tents at Camp Schiele, the boy stayed up talking with Bumgarner, who reached into the boy’s pants and fondled him, according to a statement from the boy’s father that is in Bumgarner’s file. The boy objected repeatedly, but Bumgarner persisted, telling him “the cartilage in [his] penis was similar to his nose and that he could break it,” the father wrote.