CATASAUQUA, Pa. — A Boy Scout leader in Pennsylvania surrendered to authorities on Thursday and is now facing both felony and misdemeanor charges after allegedly sexually assaulting three boys over a period of several years.
Stephen Piller, a scoutmaster with the Minsi Trails Council of Catasauqua, is facing one count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and five counts of indecent assault following a months-long investigation by the local district attorney’s office.
Piller has also been terminated from his position with the Boy Scouts.
“The behavior included in these allegations is abhorrent and runs counter to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America stands,” Council CEO Craig Poland said in a statement.
“The safety of our youth members is of paramount importance,” he stated, “and we seek to prevent child abuse through a comprehensive program of education on the subject, the chartered organization leader selection process, criminal background and other checks, policies and procedures to serve as barriers to abuse and the prompt mandatory reporting of any allegations or suspicion of abuse.”
According to reports, one of the boys told the county investigator that Piller, now 50, would walk out of the shower naked when the scout visited his home. He said that Piller would also wake him up at camp by rubbing him inappropriately, and that he was touched in wrongful places when play-wrestling.
Another youth said that he likewise had been molested while wrestling, and that Piller would take photos of him at the leader’s house. He also said he was assaulted sometimes at camp.
A third boy said he was similarly sexually assaulted both at Piller’s home and at camp.
All three claim that the sexual abuse occurred over a period of several years.
Piller denies the charges, and surrendered himself to police this week. He is currently free on $100,000 unsecured bail.
As previously reported, in 2012, as part of a separate case, the Oregon Supreme Court ordered the Boy Scouts of America to release thousands of documents outlining evidence of longstanding and widespread sexual abuse in the organization.
The documents, which the Boy Scouts had fought to keep secret, contained information collected since shortly after its inception in 1910, including letters from victims and their parents, as well as memos and handwritten notes. Some allegations had been substantiated, while others were yet undetermined.
According to the organization, the documents were used internally to keep track of suspect pedophiles, and on many occasions, those that were believed to have had inappropriate relations with boys were expelled.
Yet, reports state, for at least 50 of those incidents, somehow the men reentered and became repeat offenders. According to The Los Angeles Times, in over 125 cases, men continued to molest scouts even after incidents were reported.
Those that have reviewed the files state that they reveal a definite pattern of “grooming” by pedophiles, who sought to befriend the boys before sexually abusing them.