November 29, 2012
Allegations that former scout leader David Watkins committed forcible sodomy on a child has prompted reaction from parents and from the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).
B.S.A released a statement saying; "The abuse of anyone, especially a child, is intolerable and our thoughts and prayers go out to those who may be a victim of this type of reprehensible behavior."
The statement continues; "The behavior included in these allegations runs counter to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America stands. This individual was removed from Scouting in June because the council received allegations of inappropriate behavior which took place outside of the Scouting program. As is directed by Scouting's mandatory reporting policy, council officials proactively notified law enforcement of the allegations, which did not warrant an arrest at that time. However, he was permanently banned from participating in the Scouting program. The BSA seeks to prevent child abuse through a comprehensive program of education, chartered organization leader selection procedures, criminal background and other checks, barriers to abuse and prompt mandatory reporting. Because these allegations are currently under investigation, further questions should be directed to the local authorities."
Allegations, especially those that are sexual in nature, may cause parents to wonder about possible signs that a child has been sexually abused.
"Some sort of behavior of a nature that seems too advanced for your child, that would raise a red flag or information or words that your child knows that seems off for their age," said Aaron Hernandez, Child Advocate of the Sexual Assault Resource Agency.
Experts say boys are less likely to speak on abuse because of social norms.
"As a society there's that big boys don't cry, boys don't talk about their emotions, they're suppose to be strong and be able to protect themselves," said Hernandez.
The investigation is ongoing, and police believe there could be more victims who have yet to come forward.
A hotline has been set up by Albemarle County Police at 434-972-4045.