Utah Boy Scout Leader Charged with Aggravated Sexual Abuse

Utah NewsLyle Scott Mackay, 46, has been charged with aggravated sexual abuse, a felony in the state of Utah, after fondling an 11-year-old boy.

Mackay, who also served as the child’s Cub Scout leader, invited the boy to play a board game at his home. Once the boy arrived, Mackay told him he wanted to watch a college basketball game.  Mackay then led the 11-year-old into his bedroom and molested him. When his mother picked her son up from Mackay’s home later that day, she noticed he was pale. After asking him questions, the boy told his mother what had happened to him. She called law enforcement who issued a warrant for Mackay’s arrest.

The Boy Scouts of America’s Great Salt Lake Council learned of the arrest when the media contacted Scout executive Mark Griffin. While Griffin vowed that Mackay would be swiftly removed from Scouting, he didn’t know how long Mackay had been a Scout leader or to which troop he belonged. Griffin then offered the media the standard statement of what the Scouts do to prevent sexual abuse. This statement seems robotic and ill-advised after yet another child has been sexually molested by a leader in the Boy Scouts. Clearly, children remain at risk in the Scouting program.

The Boy Scouts have a policy that no child, under any circumstances, is to be left alone with an adult volunteer. Yet, in this case that is exactly what happened. Granted, the abuse didn’t occur during an official Scouting event, but the child went to Mackay’s house because he was the Cub Scout leader. The rule applied.

Were the rules made clear to the parents? Even if they were, parents usually trust the Boy Scouts so much, that they never suspect a Scout leader could harm their child. This is why the Boy Scouts need to come clean about their history of sexual abuse of children in Scouting by adult volunteers. It is not enough to tell the parents what the rules are. BSA needs to explain that the rules against children being alone with adult volunteers are there because thousands of adult Scout volunteers throughout Boy Scout history have sexually molested the Scouts in their care.

Until the Boy Scouts are honest with parents, children in Scouting will continue to be abused.

Dumas and Vaughn Attorneys at Law has law offices in Portland, Oregon and serves clients in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and other states.

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