A former volunteer camp chaplain for the Boy Scouts of America who sexually abused multiple victims, including a developmentally disabled teen, has been sentenced to 40 years in a Rhode Island prison after pleading no contest to his crimes.
James Glawson, 76, faced 11 counts of first-degree sexual assault against six young men, five in the 1980s during his time as a Scout leader, Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced Thursday.
The most recent victim, in 2019, was a resident of a group home with developmental disabilities.
Rhode Island State Police began investigating Glawson in January 2019 after staff at the group home reported inappropriate contact between him and an 18-year-old resident, according to the attorney general’s office. The resident later told investigators he’d been assaulted by Glawson multiple times over several years.
Glawson admitted to those assaults and, while being questioned, said he’d victimized several other young men during the 1980s while with the Boy Scouts organization, said the attorney general’s office. The five additional victims came forward during further investigation.
His sentence comes amid a reckoning for the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), which has been hit with more than 92,000 claims of alleged sexual abuse after declaring bankruptcy in 2019 “in order to restructure its nonprofit organization and pay sexual abuse survivors,” according to a court-appointed claims agent.