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boy scouts todayTwo new Boy Scouts sexual abuse scandals in New York and Missouri confirm that the Scouts’ struggle to contain their institutional sexual abuse problem continues.

In upstate New York, according to news reports, Michael Kelsey—an elected Dutchess County legislator—is accused of sexually molesting two Boy Scouts on a Scout outing during the summer of 2014. Kelsey has reportedly been indicted on one count of first-degree sexual abuse, one count of first-degree attempted sexual assault, one count of forcible touching, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Media is reporting that Kelsey has pleaded not guilty to all counts and has notified the court that he intends to offer psychiatric evidence that he was suffering from a mental disease or defect at the time he is accused of abusing his victims.

News reports on Kelsey’s alleged abuse do not clarify whether there other adults present on the week-long, fifty-mile backpacking trip that Kelsey headed as an adult volunteer in Scouting.

Kelsey has apparently refused to resign his position as a Dutchess County legislator. It is unclear if he has resigned or been banned from Scouting.


In Missouri, former physician Joseph Mackey has reportedly been charged with eight counts of Statutory Sodomy in the Second Degree.

According to news reports, Mackey’s abuse of his victim “started when he [the victim] was a Boy Scout” at age fourteen and continued through the child’s eighteenth birthday. Mackey is accused of using alcohol to ply his victim into submitting to sex.

In a bizarre side-note, Mackey is considered a suspect for sexually abusing two other victims who were lured to Mackey’s medical practice to participate in a trumped-up “Creatine Study,” wherein the victims were given Creatine tablets once a month and then instructed to masturbate. Mackey convinced his victims that the study was sponsored by the University of Kansas. The University of Kansas has denied any involvement in Mackey’s Creatine Study.

Prior to the allegations against him surfacing, Mackey was “at one time the leader of a Jackson County Boy Scout troop” and “volunteered for the Heart of America Council of Boy Scouts as a medical director and as a member of the executive board.”

These stories confirm that the problem of child sexual abuse by Scout Leaders continues.  All types of professionals — including legislators and a doctors — can be predators.  Mandatory child protection policies must be applied to all adults.

If you have any information about abuse happening in a the Boy Scouts of America or in any institution of trust, we would like to speak with you on a confidential basis. Please contact us toll-free at 888-407-0224 or email us using our confidential form.

Peter Janci

Peter has represented more than one hundred victims of sexual abuse over nearly a decade. In Spring of 2010, Peter Janci served as part of the Plaintiff’s trial team in Kerry Lewis v. Boy Scouts of America — a child sexual abuse trial in Portland, Oregon that resulted in a $19.9 million verdict for the Plaintiff. Peter has tried a number of jury and bench trials, in addition to representing clients at arbitration and meditation. Peter has also helped obtain dozens of other significant settlements for other survivors of sexual abuse.