April 10, 2019

Former Boy Scout Chaplain Arraigned on Additional Sex Assault Charges

Charges against Boy Scout leadership for sexual assault continue to flood the nation’s courts. After being arrested in February, a former Boy Scout assistant chaplain for a summer camp was charged with three new sexual assault and child molestation charges this past Wednesday.

The Boy Scout chaplain, James Glawson, 74, was arraigned on one count of first-degree child molestation, one count of first-degree sexual assault, and one count of second-degree child molestation. Since February, Glawson has been charged with 16 sexual assault and child molestation-related crimes, including possession of child pornography. He is currently being held without bail.  

Following reports that Glawson sexually assaulted a disabled 18-year-old man during the course of several years, police first arrested Glawson on February 14. In April, Rhode Island state police announced nine additional charges.

"These new charges resulted from interviews with additional alleged victims who have come forward since Mr. Glawson was initially arrested," Rhode Island State Police Colonel James Manni said.


Chaplain Child Molestation and Sexual Assault Charges

From 1980 to 2018, Glawson served as a chaplain for the Boy Scouts of America and Eucharistic minister at the St. Bosco Catholic Chapel at the Yawgoog Boy Scout camp in Hopkinton from 2012 to 2018. The Boy Scout leader was also an active member of numerous local churches.

The new sexual assault charges relate to one victim with the abuse occurring throughout the late 1980s. He is the fifth person Glawson is accused of assaulting. However, the investigation is still ongoing.  

“With any type of investigation as serious as this, it is difficult for complainants to come forward,” Maj. Timothy Sanzi, Rhode Island State Police detective commander, said. “It requires a great deal of bravery. It’s a very sensitive matter.”

"This is an active, ongoing investigation," Manni said. "We continue to pursue all leads and will bring additional charges, if warranted. We strongly encourage anyone who may have information and/or additional complaints related to this individual and/or this investigation to call the Rhode Island State Police Detective Division at 401-764-5346."

Sexual Assault and Molestation Investigation

Glawson is also charged with assaulting victims who were 13 or younger at the time of the abuse.

With the new charges, Glawson is facing three separate criminal cases. His lawyer is still determining if Glawson will be facing further charges.

According to Detective Robert Hoptkins of the Rhode Island State Police, “numerous” people are claiming Glawson sexually victimized them. All are former Boy Scouts. Some came forward on their own and some were contacted by state police.

Rhode Island has no statute of limitations for reporting first-degree sexual assault, as well as first- or second-degree child molestation. Several of Glawson’s victims report the abuse happening during the 1980s when they met the chaplain through the Boy Scouts.

If convicted, Glawson could face a life sentence. State Police indicate the Boy Scouts of America and the Diocese of Providence are cooperating with the investigation.


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