Our brave client John Elliott went on the air recently to tell his story of being abused by his BSA Scoutmaster in Idaho. When John Elliot was 12 years old, he went on a Boy Scout survival camping trip in McCall, Idaho with his troop. His Scout troop was sponsored by the local Mormon Church. During the trip he met James Schmidt, a local Scout leader who was a volunteer from the LDS Church.
According to a KTVB television report, Elliott says that one night Schmidt told him and some of his friends they had to stay inside because of a threat in the woods. “What was in the tent was more dangerous than the wolverine supposedly outside the tent,” said Elliott. That night, Elliott and several other boys were sexually molested by Schmidt. He told his mother who reported the incident in a written letter to the Boy Scouts. But the Scouts did not report the crimes to police and Schmidt was never charged with a crim
Schmidt continued to volunteer as a Boy Scout leader in spite of Mrs. Elliott’s report. Schmidt was part of the long, sad history of Idaho Boy Scouts being abused and sexually exploited by their Scoutmasters and other Scout volunteers or employees, many of them affiliated with the LDS Church. Now, John Elliot has come forward along with seven others in order to protect children and tell their story of sexual exploitation and abuse of authority.
“The LDS Church knew about it, the Boy Scouts of America knew about [Schmidt’s] issues and still allowed him to lead in Scouts, and he continued to molest boys horrifically for the next few years,” said Elliott.
If you have information about adult Scout volunteers’ sexually inappropriate conduct with children, please contact us at [email protected] or call us at 503-306-0224. We are here for you.