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

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A September 8, 1966, letter from C.W. Byers, Scout executive of the Western Reserve Council in Warren, to Howard Boyd of the registration service for the national council reads:

Dear Howard

We have been advised that the Troop Committee of Troop 61 Hiram, Ohio that boys have been encouraged and assisted in the act of masturbation by Assistant Scoutmaster, Lee Dalton, 5'9" in height and weighs approximately 150 pounds. He is single, protestant, and is employed as a teacher at Burton Schools, Burton, Ohio. He teaches science.

It is the feeling of the Troop Committee that Mr. Lee Dalton should be removed from the registration of Scout leaders of the Boy Scouts of America due to the fact that his conduct with boys is not conducive to Good Character Development And Citizenship Training.

Sincerely Yours,

C.W. Byers,

Scout Executive

Boyd replied four days later:

Dear Mr. Byers:

Thank you for your letter of September 8 concerning Lee Dalton, Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 61. We have placed this information in our files and have taken steps to have his name deleted from the Troop roster.

Enclosed is a confidential record sheet which we would very much appreciate your completing and returning to us, together with any substantiating statements which may be available pertaining to this situation, such as a statement from the boys involved or the parents of the boys.

This information will enable us to identify Mr. Dalton should he ever again attempt to register for Scouting programs.

Sincerely yours,

Personel Divison

Howard Boyd

Director of Registration

Attached in the file is a mostly illegible handwritten note that that would have detailed the response to the incident. Phrases that can be deciphered include "Ernie Conklin & Paul Gustafson talked to Lee Dalton and collected his registration cards," "we spent hours discussing the problem and hoped it is settled in Hiram," and "thought you should know the action taken." The name of the person who wrote the letter is redacted. Gustafson was a Hiram professor at the time and had a 10-year-old son in the troop.

"The minister and I were talking back and forth and it seemed like we had sort of reconciled things there with the parents," says Dalton about the incident mentioned in the file, which he didn't know was documented. "I sat down with the parents and talked to them, I believe there were three or four kids involved."

That was a good time for Dalton to skip town, he thought. His urges at his teaching job were getting too strong.

"It was right at the end of the school year and I had a seasonal job in Yellowstone," says Dalton, who claimed he would have gone to Montana for the summer regardless of the lingering issues in Hiram. "I was planning on leaving teaching anyway because I hadn't been able to keep things under control and I thought, 'Okay, let's get away from this.'"

And just like that, he was gone. He and his wife headed West. Word was starting to get around town about the young science teacher and Boy Scout leader. Not only did adults in the Boy Scouts get wind of Dalton's incidents, he claims school officials and lawyers knew about at least some of the students he molested at Burton Elementary by the time he left.

How many different boys did Dalton molest in the Hiram scouts? "Maybe as many as eight or 10, I don't really remember for sure." He doesn't know exactly how many Burton students he molested either, though he says he worked with a therapist and "came up with a number like 24 or 26" different children he's molested as adult and "43 going back to when I was in first grade."

More by Doug Brown

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