Former Michigan Boy Scouts leader pleads guilty to sexually abusing two boys
Michigan detectives investigating sexual abuse within the ranks of the Boy Scouts of America landed their first conviction – a former scoutmaster who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting two young boys more than 20 years ago in a Detroit suburb .
Mark Chapman, a convicted pedophile who served a nine-year sentence in a New York prison for sexually abusing another young boy, now faces an additional 12 to 20 years in a Michigan penitentiary for attacking the two scouts, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said.
“No matter how much time has passed or how difficult the circumstances of a case, I am committed to holding abusers accountable for their crimes,” she said in a statement after Chapman pleaded guilty on Monday to a first-degree felony count. sexual behavior and one count of criminal sexual behavior in the second degree.
Chapman’s sentence was set for December 14. NBC News contacted his attorney, Samuel Bennett, but received no response.
Chapman, 51, landed on Michigan State Police radar after being identified as a suspected predator by someone who called Nessel’s hotline last year for victims of child sexual abuse. Boy Scouts.
Police zeroed in on Chapman, who had lived in New York since 2007, in June 2021 after sifting through 5,000 Boy Scout claims that had been sent in from Michigan.
At the time, Chapman was serving a nine-year sentence at Mohawk Correctional Facility in Rome, New York, for abusing a 9-year-old boy. And Michigan State Police arrested Chapman in March the minute he was paroled.
Nessel charged Chapman with eight new counts of second degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct.
Two decades ago, Chapman worked as a janitor at a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints church in Roseville, Michigan, where the Boy Scout troop he led sometimes met.
Chapman began abusing a victim in 2000 when the boy was 13 or 14, Nessel said. The abuse, which continued until the victim was 17, occurred at the victim’s home, Chapman’s home and at the church.
The other victim was an 11-year-old family member who suffered years of abuse, which “often revolved around times designated as special opportunities for Chapman to spend time with the boy,” the office said. Nessel in a statement released when Chapman was arrested again in March.
In response to a request for comment on Chapman’s sentencing, the BSA released a statement that said, in part, “BSA has fully engaged with the Michigan Attorney General’s Office on this matter and is committed to support ongoing investigative efforts.”
At the time of Chapman’s re-arrest, the Boy Scouts confirmed in a pair of statements that the suspected scout leader was “a registered unit leader in various capacities from 1999 to 2007.”
Chapman was not part of the Boy Scouts when he was convicted in New York in 2013, but his name was added to “the BSA’s volunteer screening database, thus barring future involvement with the Boy Scouts of America,” the BSA said.
Facing an avalanche of abuse allegations, the Boy Scouts settled a lawsuit in 2021 for $850 million in civil court with more than 84,000 victims who said they were assaulted and abused while Scouting.
It was the largest such settlement in US history and seriously damaged the reputation of the 110-year-old organization which was plagued by allegations of abuse by volunteers and leaders since the 1960s.
The Boy Scouts filed for bankruptcy in 2020 as she faced mounting legal costs to defend herself against allegations of sexual abuse of boys.