In This Police Youth Program, a Trail of Sexual Abuse Across the U.S.

Source: themarshallproject.org 5/1/24

Explorer posts, overseen by the Boy Scouts, are supposed to foster an interest in policing. They have faced nearly 200 allegations of misconduct.

STOUGHTON, Mass. — The last known person to see Sandra Birchmore alive was a police officer.

He stopped by her apartment days before the elementary school teacher’s aide, 23 years old and newly pregnant, was found dead in February 2021. The medical examiner later ruled her death a suicide.

The officer worked for the Stoughton Police Department, near Boston, where he first met Birchmore about a decade earlier through the agency’s Explorer post — part of a youth mentorship program run by local departments across the country.

He acknowledged having sex with her when she was 15, according to a court ruling citing the officer’s text messages. That document indicates that his twin brother — also an officer and Explorer mentor — and a third Stoughton officer, a veteran who ran the program, eventually had sex with her, too.

This article was published in partnership with NBC News.
These assertions, disclosed in an internal police investigative report and through an ongoing lawsuit filed by Birchmore’s family, have sparked demonstrations and an online petition asking for further investigation into her death. The three men, who did not respond to requests for comment, have denied any wrongdoing and have not been charged with a crime.

The youth program that introduced Birchmore to the officers is among hundreds of such chapters at police agencies around the country. Created by the Boy Scouts of America decades ago, law enforcement Explorer posts are designed to help teens and young adults learn about policing.

Birchmore’s case is among at least 194 allegations that law enforcement personnel, mostly policemen, have groomed, sexually abused or engaged in inappropriate behavior with Explorers since 1974, an ongoing investigation by The Marshall Project has found. The vast majority of those affected were teenage girls — some as young as 13.

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Is this really all that surprising?

Registry helped here how?

Again, people in positions of trust.

More examples of a person in a position of public trust committing a sex crime and not those on the registry. If the registry’s purpose was to prevent crime it sure didn’t stop those cops who probably know the consequences of having sex with a minor, but they couldn’t help themselves.

While I am glad that this abuse he’s been exposed, and suspect even more will be discovered as time goes on, several thoughts and concerns come come to mind.

“Groomers”: This article suggests at least some of these officers may have done what appears to be actual “Grooming”, it will be used to further the moral panic and its fantasy notions of “Grooming”. More “proof” that any adult that has any form of contact with a minor is potentially “grooming” them!

Witch Hunt: Sooner or later, the far right is going to demand that. Subject all in positions that give, or can give, access, to pseudoscientific tests designed to spot the “groomers”? The same kind of tests used in the Shadow prison systems, that “Prove” that nobody can get out alive perhaps? That way they can be sure that only the (far) right kind of people are brainwashing America’s youth at schools. The far left would love that, for the same reason.

Additional victims: How many of these officers have additional victims not gained through the Explorer program? Certainly as, “Relentless Sexual Predators” they would have others, right? They definitely would get other victims during periods when they don’t have an explorer to abuse, right? Universal and Eternal Frightening and High demands that they all moved to other victims the moment they lost access to explorers. So we HAVE TO HAVE hundreds/thousands of officers that continued abusing victims for years after retirement, until they died. Universal and ETERNAL F&H allows for no other possibility.

It is presumed to be true for absolutely everyone else, with no need for any evidence, so why not then? So, we had untold numbers of cops that abused kids all through their years on the force, and continued to do so in retirement? HAS TO BE TRUE… once a Predator, always a Predator… Universal and Eternal F&H allows for no possibility of anything else…. oh and not all retired Explorer Scout Cops are dead .. some are still out there, and they have to be continuing to… F&H demands we have to presume that is universally true, even if there is no evidence to suggest it is.

How did they keep this secret? How many hundreds to thousands of other officers knew/suspected, but said nothing over the decades? What are they guilty of, and can/should they be allowed to keep their jobs? If they kept quite about this, what else are they not saying? Oh and if none even suspected, ever… how incompetent are these cops that this could go on for decades completely unnoticed by any not involved? So are they liars or incompetent… gotta be one or the other.

How many others need to be found before we accept that there is no oversight, leaving police to be as criminal as they want to be… which is often at Frightening and High levels? If it saves just one child…

It will be interesting to see how a full-scale investigation into the Police, or even police Youth programs, isn’t needed. How and why it is ridiculous to even suspect their could be others.

I was once an explorer scout AKA Police Cadet when I was 16. It really has little to do with the Boy Scouts except they’re the ones that provide the liability insurance.

I can say that many of the Police Officers were OVERLY friendly with the very young female Cadets as young as 13. The male officers spend a 10 hour shift alone with these young Cadets. The opportunity for a sexual encounter is great and likely, despite most of the officers being married. – But of course, Police Officers would never break the law and take advantage of these young Cadets. I can say that women of all ages are attracted to Police Officers because of the power they have and the sence of security they provide.

The last paragraph of this article does its damnedest to minimize the negative impact on law enforcement and the Explorer program.

“Supporters of the program, including police officials and Scouting leaders, say that abuse cases are rare and represent just a fraction of the tens of thousands of law enforcement Explorers over the decades”.

So what about all the victims who have remained silent over all the years that Explorer programs have existed? According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center:

“63% of sexual assaults are not reported to police”. and
Only 12% of child sexual abuse is reported to the authorities”

It is a safe assumption that these estimates are quite a bit higher as the young victims would be even MORE reluctant to disclose the crimes considering that it is THE POLICE who are the offenders. This would be true of both minor and adult victims.

Following a law enforcement “mass sweep” of suspected sex offenders, any reporter would lose their job should they include such a comment which would lessen the negative impact on those arrested.

Further, I am not aware of any published report of ‘mass arrests’ of suspected offenders in which it states that sex offenses are relatively “rare and represent just a fraction of” the 380 million citizens living in the United States and/or that the vast, vast majority of those arrested are NOT PFR’s.

I will do my best to avoid ‘gloating’ (an expected, normal, and natural tendency for many of us), as this story is indeed tragic. I will also try to avoid thinking negatively of ALL or MOST law enforcement personnel, as this has been done to us.