By Tyler Aliperto
A quick glance through the LA Time’s Perversion Files reveals a troubling pattern occurring in New Mexico’s Boy Scouts: Pedophile Scout Leaders. These Perversion Files document three decades of sexual abuse of New Mexico Boy Scouts by men who were supposed to protect and mentor them. Click on the corresponding name to view the Ineligible Volunteer Perversion file created and maintained by the Boy Scouts of America or for media reports.
Beginning in 1963 with Jerry Tully, New Mexico’s Boy Scouts seem to have possessed at least one pedophile Scout Leader at a time for the next three decades, with the last case coming in 1993.
Tully, of course, should have been the first and only straw for New Mexico’s chapters of the Boy Scouts of America. After Tully was undesirably discharged from the U.S. Army, and subsequently removed from the Boy Scouts, for “committing an immoral sex act on another person, a Boy Scout,” in August of 1963; he went on to work with youth at the local YMCA, as evidenced by the final paragraph of this article from March of 1964.
Following Jerry Tully, however, was Dale Lyle Logan, a Cubmaster for Troop 70 in Artesia, New Mexico. Logan had been accused of “moral perversion” charges while working as a school teacher in Texas in 1963. Despite these accusations, Logan became a teacher and Cubmaster in Artesia, until 1965 when he was caught passing notes of “highly questionable nature” to grade school boys. The Boy Scouts of America then placed him in the ineligible volunteer file.
Then, just a few years later in 1968, George Kennedy, a Major in the U.S. Army stationed at Sandia Base in Albuquerque, organized a district camporee for the Boy Scouts. During one night of the camporee, Kennedy decided to have one boy scout sleep in his tent. Kennedy asked the boy to zip their sleeping bags together for warmth, and then began making sexual advances towards the boy and discussing his lack of sexual relations with his wife. The two eventually wrestled, which ended in the 16-year-old boy choking out the U.S. Army Major and walking five miles back to base camp — wearing only his shorts. According to letters from a scout executive of the Kit Carson Council, “two more alleged cases concerning Major Kennedy” were brought to the Council’s attention following this incident.
Only five years after Kennedy was added to the Boy Scout’s Ineligible Volunteer Files, Clark Funk is accused of sexually abusing multiple boy scouts. According to an article from the Taos News, Funk was accused of sexually molesting a 10-year-old boy in 1973 (aliased as John Doe #1), as well as sexually abusing another boy (D.B) in the early 1970s. According to their accusations, Funk initiated and performed sex acts on the boys while he was a Boy Scout Leader.
Following Funk’s alleged abuse is a series of pedophile Scout Leaders that served in New Mexico during the early 1980s.
First, in November of 1982, Michael Harkins is accused of sexually molesting an 8-year-old Cub Scout. Harkins was just “helping out” with the troop at the time of the incident, however, in 1986 he attempted to register as a Scout Leader and was denied due to his place in the Ineligible Volunteer Files.
During that same year 1982, Scout Master Thomas Hickey is accused of sexually abusing one boy “once a week over a two-year period.” This abuse began with fondling and progressed to body-to-body rubbing, in which the Scout Master brought his victim and other in a tent and instructed them to remove clothing, get in a “double blanket” with the perpetrator, and perform sex acts on each other.
1982 is also the same year that one former Boy Scout claims Lee Edward Snyder began sexually abusing him, before going on to abuse two other scouts in 1986. According to victims, the Troop 114 leader convinced teens that bizarre sex acts were a part of a ritual to be inducted to the “Order of the Arrow”; a prestigious Boy Scouts sub-group. These scouts allege that Snyder would ply them with liquor, show them pornography, and eventually engage in oral and anal sex with the young boys. In their law suit, they also state that the Scouts “knew or should have known” about Snyder’s previous complaints of sexual misconduct while a Scout Leader in Hawaii, as well as his 1975 charge of “contributing to the delinquency of a minor,” which came after accusations of sexually abusing two boys (14 and 15-years-old) in Virginia.
In 1986, then, Paul Sanchez Sr., a Scout Leader for Troop 28 in Santa Fe, is charged with four counts of criminal sexual misconduct of a minor, as well as one count of indecent exposure and one count of attempting to commit criminal sexual misconduct. These charges stem from a birthday party in which Sanchez is said to have made several trips into the childrens’ room in order to expose himself and sexually molest four young girls.
The year 1989 was unfortunately a terrible year for New Mexico Scouting. In 1989, the Scout Leader for Troop 2 in Roswell, Ernie Delgado, was arrested and convicted of two counts of sexual penetration of two Boy Scouts in his troop, as well as one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. That same year, James B. Foster, who was on the staff at the Philmont Scout Ranch for 20 years, was terminated from his position at Philmont because of allegations of sexual contact with a boy and because he subjected boys to inappropriate touching. Likewise, Jack Sewell, a Scout Leader for Troop 264 in Clayton,was suspended from the Boy Scouts in 1989 when he admitted to sexually abusing his step-daughter.
Finally, 30 years after Jerry Tully allegedly committed an “immoral sex act” on a Boy Scout, John Charles Roberts, the Scout Leader for Troop 11 in Portales, was charged with the sexual exploitation of a child, as well as seven counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Roberts reportedly photographed a nude 14-year-old boy who was tied to a bed.
From 1963 to 1993, there were many changes made to the Boy Scouts of America, both for scouts as well as leaders. During the same three decades, there were many changes made in the state of New Mexico, as well. However, the one constant during this time period is that there were always pedophiles with the official title of “Boy Scout Leader” in New Mexico.
About the Author: Tyler Aliperto is a Research and Social Media Advocate with the Noaker Law Firm LLC and a Digital Communications and Journalism major at St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota.