Buffalo-area Boy Scout leaders linked to sex abuse involving children
More than two dozen Boy Scout leaders from the Buffalo area have been charged by police with molesting children or morals crimes involving children or were barred by the Boy Scouts of America from registering as Scout leaders due to allegations against them involving children.
The Boy Scouts put some of these Scout leaders in their “Perversion Files,” also known as the “Ineligible Volunteer Files,” which an Oregon judge forced them to release in 2012. Those files contained information about allegations made between 1965 and 1985.
The Buffalo News also added to this list Scout leaders who are not in the “Perversion Files” but were charged with crimes involving children. The information about those individuals comes from newspaper archives and public records.
- Richard J. Aycoth — Boy Scout records indicate Aycoth resigned as a leader of Troop 571 in Tonawanda in 1963, three years after he was sentenced to one year in state prison for impairing the morals of a minor. The prison term was suspended and he was put on probation. A Buffalo Evening News story said two 11-year-old boys were the victims. At the request of Greater Niagara Frontier Council leaders, Aycoth was allowed to register as a committeeman at Troop 455 in Amherst in 1973 despite being in the “Perversion Files.”
- William D. Baker – He resigned in August 1988 as a leader of a Boy Scout Troop 547 in Lackawanna. The Greater Niagara Frontier Council indicated Baker resigned because of “child molestation,” according to the Boy Scout records, which say Baker pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree criminal sexual act in Erie County Court. The charges accused him of having sexual contact with a person under the age of 15. He was added to the “Perversion Files” in 1988.
- Kenneth A. Dingman – Troop 48 in Albion forced Dingman to resign as a committeeman after Albion police accused him of impersonating an officer, according to Boy Scout records. Dingman was added to the “Perversion Files” in 1971. In 1974, the Scouts allowed Dingman to register as a Webelos leader in Cub Scout Pack 3026 in the Lewiston Trail Council. In 1975, Dingman was charged with sexual abuse involving a 12-year-old boy, pleaded guilty to a crime and was sentenced to three years on probation, according to the Scout records. Dingman was arrested two more times, once in 1990 for sexual abuse and then in 1996 on a count of third-degree sodomy for assaulting a 15-year-old boy in a barn, The News reported in 2012. Dingman spent six years in prison for the last conviction. He is listed on the state sex offender registry.
- George R. Fowler – Fowler was scoutmaster of Troop 249 in Buffalo when he was arrested in 1994 on charges of sodomy, sexual abuse, attempted sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child, according to Buffalo News archives. He was accused of molesting three Scouts at his house and during a Scout camping trip at Beaver Island State Park. In 1995, Fowler was sentenced to 20 months to five years in prison after pleading guilty to sodomy.
- Gary R. Germeo – Germeo was a committeeman at Explorer Post 59 in Clarendon when he was indicted in 1985 on rape, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child charges by an Orleans County grand jury, according to Boy Scout records. The records say Germeo was convicted in 1986 of three counts of sexual abuse and sentenced to probation. A 1986 story in the Medina Journal-Register says Germeo was sentenced to probation for attempted rape. He was added to the “Perversion Files” after that.
- John E. Grace – Grace was added to the “Perversion Files” in 1989 after Scout leaders discovered he had been convicted of rape years earlier. Grace was a scoutmaster of Troop 567 in Depew in 1981, according to Boy Scout records. He was sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison that year for sex crimes in four counties in Western New York, including the rapes of teenage girls, according to news accounts. He served 12 years in prison before being released.
- Norman F. Grimm Jr. – The former South Buffalo Boy Scout leader and church custodian was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2008 for molesting three young boys in his Ryan Street home. Grimm was also sentenced to 25 years in prison on federal child pornography charges.
- Daniel Huzinec – He was arrested in 2015 on charges of sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child pornography, according to Buffalo News archives. Huzinec admitted taking sexually explicit photos of a sleeping 16-year-old boy while he was an assistant scoutmaster chaperoning a Scout overnight trip, according to prosecutors. He also posed as a girl online to get a former member of his troop to send him explicit photos. Huzinec, who pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography, was sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2018.
- Donald A. Hodge – Hodge was put in the “Perversion Files” in 1965 and barred from Scouting. He was a scoutmaster at Troop 83 in Buffalo for eight to 10 years before he resigned, according to Boy Scout records. Two days later he was arrested by Buffalo police on a morals charge involving a minor. He pleaded guilty the next day, was sentenced to a suspended one-year term in the Erie County Penitentiary, and put on probation. A Buffalo Courier-Express story says the case involved a 12-year-old boy. Hodge later applied to be a Troop 83 committeeman, but his registration was denied, Scout records show.
- Timothy H. Jones – Jones was put in the “Perversion Files” in 1989 and barred from Scouting after he was accused by Buffalo police of four counts of sodomy with teenage boys, according to Boy Scout records. Jones had been a leader at Explorer Post 10 in Buffalo and was a teacher’s aide at South Park High School when he molested three boys, according to Buffalo News archives. The victims were not Scouts. Jones pleaded guilty to three sodomy felonies and was sentenced in 1989 to four to 12 years in prison.
- Kollin Roy King – The former Frontier School District fifth-grade teacher was arrested in 2007 on a charge of using the internet to arrange a sexual liaison with an undercover agent posing as a 14-year-old boy, according to Buffalo News archives. He was a longtime Boy Scout volunteer who was scheduled to become director of Camp Scouthaven in 2007 for boys in first to fifth grades. Agents said King told them he had never molested any of his students or Scouts he knew. King was sentenced in 2007 to 8 1/2 years in prison for possessing child pornography.
- Robert H. Knoer – Knoer resigned as assistant cubmaster of Pack 535 in Buffalo in 1966 about five months before he was put in the “Perversion Files.” Scout records indicate Knoer had been found guilty of impairing the morals of a minor and sentenced to one year in the Erie County Penitentiary in 1962. A Tonawanda News story about the conviction said the case involved a 15-year-old boy.
- Charles E. Ladison – He was an assistant scoutmaster in Norfolk, Va., when he was put in the “Perversion Files” in 1982 for contributing to the delinquency of minors. He had previously served as a Scout leader in 1977 and 1978 in Troop 24 in Belmont, in Allegany County. In 1984 he was sentenced to 55 years in prison for raping a 10-year-old Norfolk girl, according to Scout records. He previously was sentenced to three years in prison for aggravated sexual battery of a 13-year-old girl in Norfolk during a beer-drinking party Ladison threw with children at a Boy Scout meeting hall where he was assistant scoutmaster.
- Laverne S. Lamkin – He was scoutmaster of Troop 66 in Indian Falls, in Genesee County, in 1977 when a 15-year-old Scout told officials that Lamkin showed him Playboy magazines, gave him alcohol, molested him and let him drive Lamkin’s vehicle 1,000 miles on a Scout camping trip in Nova Scotia, according to Boy Scout records. The Scouts notified then-Genesee County Sheriff Roy Wullich, who initiated a criminal investigation. The sheriff gave Lamkin a choice: resign from the Scouts or face further investigation, according to the Scout records. Lamkin resigned. He was added to the “Perversion Files.”
- Richard E. Martin – Martin served as scoutmaster of Troop 257 on Grand Island in 1966 and as assistant scoutmaster with Troop 335 in Buffalo in 1967. He was put in the “Perversion Files” and barred from Scouting after being accused in 1967 of molesting several boys from Troop 335 on a camping trip in Canada. Three former Scouts sued the national BSA and the Greater Niagara Frontier Council in 2013, alleging Martin molested them, according to Buffalo News archives.
- Daniel J. McCarthy – He was a leader of Boy Scout Troop 518 in Orchard Park when he was charged in 2006 with raping a 14-year-old girl two years earlier, according to Buffalo News archives. He pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree rape and attempted second-degree criminal sexual act. He was sentenced to six months in jail in 2007.
- Lowell L. Merritt – Merritt was arraigned in Newstead Town Court in 1969 on a public lewdness charge, according to Boy Scout records. He was a committeeman for Troop 67 in Corfu at the time. Scout officials said they learned he had previously been sentenced to probation for disorderly conduct following a 1967 arrest on an indecent exposure charge involving a 14-year-old girl, Scout records show.
- James Molyneaux – In 2005, the retired teacher and Boy Scout leader was convicted of five child sodomy and sex abuse counts involving two Scouts in a Cattaraugus County troop he led. The victims were 12 and 13 at the time of the abuse.
- William C. Parker – Parker, a teacher and Scoutmaster of Troop 175 in Barre Center, in Orleans County, was convicted in 1967 of endangering the life or health of a child, according to a State Department of Corrections record. He had been accused of showing a 12-year-old boy photos of nude females and making the boy masturbate, according to Scout records. Parker was fined $500, put on probation and sentenced to a suspended 3-month jail term. Parker resigned as Scoutmaster in 1968, when he was put into the “Perversion Files.”
- Robert Tatu – The former aide to Buffalo Mayor Jimmy Griffin pleaded guilty to two felony sodomy charges in 1990 and was sentenced to six months in jail. Tatu, a former Cub Scout pack volunteer in South Buffalo and Buffalo Police Athletic League president, admitted sexual contact with 14-year-old and 16-year-old boys. The Scouts added Tatu to the “Perversion Files” in 1989 after he was arrested.
- Robert P. Voelker – Voelker was a leader of an Explorers Post in Lancaster in 2001 when Scout officials received a complaint that he had molested two 16-year-old members. The Scouts removed him and contacted authorities. Voelker was arrested in 2003 and indicted on 15 counts of sodomy, sexual abuse and child endangerment, according to Buffalo News archives. He was sentenced later that year to six months in the county correctional facility after he pleaded guilty to sodomy and endangering the welfare of a child.
- Michael P. Walleshauser – Walleshauser was an assistant Boy Scout leader at a Clarence troop when he was charged in 2010 with sexual abuse of two brothers, aged 9 and 11, according to Buffalo News archives. The boys were not Scouts. He had also been a Scout leader for 19 years at Troop 279 in Amherst. Walleshauser pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree criminal sexual act and attempted second-degree sexual abuse. He was sentenced in 2011 to five years in prison, according to Buffalo News archives.
- Ronald C. Williams – Williams, a former Buffalo police officer and Scout leader, has been sentenced to prison for sex crimes with children in Erie County, as well as in Florida and Pennsylvania. Bob O’Donnell of the Town of Boston told The Buffalo News Williams molested him in the late 1970s when he was a Boy Scout in a troop in Blasdell where Williams was a leader.
- William H. Winters – Winters was a committeeman with Troop 3 in Lockport in 1975 when Lockport police arrested him, according to Boy Scout records. He was accused of forcing his way into a home and pressuring 15-year-old and 14-year-old sisters to take off their clothes by threatening to kill their mother if they didn’t, the Lockport Union-Sun reported. Winters was charged with attempted rape, coercion and burglary. The Scouts added Winters to their “Perversion File” shortly after that.
- Dennis A. Woodard – In 1968, Lancaster police charged Woodard with endangering the welfare of a child and possessing obscene material after a 14-year-old Boy Scout said Woodard tricked him into posing for nude photos, according to The Post-Standard of Syracuse. At the time Woodard was a teacher in a Buffalo public school and a leader of Troop 225 in Kenmore. He pleaded guilty in May 1968 to a reduced charge of harassment and was fined $25, according to the newspaper. Woodard was hired in 1970 to be a teacher in Union Springs. The sixth-grade teacher was charged in 1993 with receiving and sending child pornography. The investigation was prompted by a man who claimed Woodard abused him as a child in the early 1980s at a Boy Scout camp in Owasco where Woodard worked. Woodard pleaded guilty to sexually exploiting minors by photographing or filming them engaging in sexually explicit acts and possessing child pornography. He admitted having sexual contact with three 14-year-old boys and a 13-year-old boy. Woodard was sentenced in 1993 to nine years in prison.