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The Never-Ending Pain of the Boy Scouts' 'Perversion Files' 

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Since he left the military bases as a child, he's been sexually fixated on young, Scouting-aged children. When he became of-age, a leadership position in the Scouts gave him access to continue to act on his thoughts.

The Boy Scout's file on Dalton is devoid of many details but the ones mentioned are damning: he "taught" and "assisted" group masturbation in one incident with the scouts in 1966. Dalton admitted to Scene that he molested children throughout college (he graduated high school in 1959 and college in 1965); he took up a leadership role in the organization and started as an elementary school teacher in nearby Burton to satisfy his urges.

"Usually it was through Scouting or when I got into teaching," he says about how he would find kids while a student at Kent State. "I began teaching when I was 19."

"A large part of it was working hard to try to keep from putting myself into a position where... these didn't just happen at the spur of the moment." He explains about how he "couldn't help" himself and had to go through with it.

"There's grooming that takes place first. You find some way to be alone with a kid, you gain trust, you gain trust with a kid's parents or whatever, and you put yourself in the position where you're able to go ahead and perform the act."

His reputation was somewhat of an open secret in Hiram and Burton, especially by 1966 when he left town and had his Boy Scout registration revoked. Until Scene contacted him, he had no clue that his abuse was documented, that the Boy Scouts knew about at least some of the incidents, and that his file was uploaded on the Internet for anybody to see (read his file here).

The first adult who directly knew about Dalton's child molestation was Hiram Christian Church's Rev. Hunter Beckelhymer. The church sponsored Hiram's Troop 61 and hosted meetings in the basement. Beckelhymer was the first religious leader that enabled Dalton to continue having access to children through the Boy Scouts, though not the last.

click to enlarge Hiram Christian Church
  • Hiram Christian Church

"Getting married was supposed to take care of all this," Dalton says. He married his wife, Donna, in 1966 according to Geauga County records. It did not stop his molesting. She finally divorced him in 1997 while he was in prison for molesting their son; she knew about his "problem" from the beginning, he says.

Richard Masters, who is six years older than Dalton and was also involved in the Scouts in Hiram, says Rev. Beckelhymer would not have been able to properly handle a situation like Dalton's.

"He was an academic man, a very personable man, but I think counseling would be very difficult for him on that topic," Masters says. The concept of two grown men engaging in a consensual relationship was foreign enough to the area— "There was no knowledge in this area that it was a possibility, option, or thought," he says— so a grown man sexually abusing a child would be even crazier.

"Sexuality was a no-no topic in Hiram," says Masters. "The schools, there was just no sex education. Kids learned from the farm, and there was no sex education in schools."

Masters remembers how uncomfortable Beckelhymer would be when the topic of sex would come up during Christian Fellowship meetings with students in Hiram. Beckelhymer left Hiram in 1966, the same year as Dalton, to teach at Brite Divinity School, affiliated with Texas Christian University.

A 1967 Associated Press blurb gives a sense of Beckelhymer's stance on sexuality: "The best response by a college girl to the modern sex revolution still is a 'wide angle haymaker to the jaw followed by a maidenly scream,' the Rev. Hunter Beckelhymer of Texas Christian University writes in a new book based on letters to a coed daughter, entitled 'Dear Connie.'"

The circumstances behind who knew what about the final incident documented in his Boy Scout file are still unclear.

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