SCITUATE, R.I. (WPRI) — A longtime volunteer with the Boy Scouts is now facing a dozen counts of sexual assault after more alleged victims came forward, Rhode Island State Police said Wednesday.
James Glawson, 74, of Exeter, was arrested last month on felony charges. He’s accused of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old man on multiple occasions, and police believe he knew the alleged victim had mental disabilities.
In a news conference Wednesday, police said the new charges were filed in court as Glawson appeared for a status hearing. He was charged with eight additional counts of first-degree sexual assault, along with a single count of possession of child pornography, which was based on materials recovered by police during the course of the investigation, according to Col. James Manni.
The judge ruled that Glawson should continue to be held without bail.
Police said the newly reported incidents took place during the 1980s. According to Maj. Timothy Sanzi, there’s no statute of limitations for first-degree sexual assault.
Investigators are still looking into the possibility of additional victims. Anyone who has information on the case or wishes to file a complaint against Glawson is asked to contact detectives at (401) 764-5346.
Peg Langhammer, executive director of Day One – a support and advocacy group for victims of sexual abuse and violence – said it often takes years for victims to summon the courage to come forward. In fact, she noted that the average age for someone to report institutional abuse is 53 years old.
“Why is that? For a variety of reasons, people don’t report,” Langhammer said. “Sometimes it’s shame, it’s fear. Many times an offender makes threats, either to the person or to the person’s family.”
Langhammer also stressed that Day One has a number of resources available to sexual assault victims.
“No matter who assaulted you, no matter when it happened, we are here for you,” she said. “You do not have to go through this alone.”
Day One can be reached at (401) 421-4100.
Glawson was affiliated with the Boy Scouts from 1980-2018, according to police. Starting in 2012, he was an assistant Catholic chaplain and Eucharistic minister at St. John Bosco Chapel at Yawgoog Scout Reservation in Hopkinton.
Police said he’s also affiliated with St. Bernard Church in North Kingstown and the Immaculate Conception Church in Westerly.
The Narragansett Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the Diocese of Providence have been cooperating with the investigation since it began.
Tim McCandless, Scout Executive/CEO of the Narragansett Council, released a statement Wednesday saying he’s “deeply troubled by today’s news” and that Glawson’s “behaviors are appalling and completely unacceptable.”
“The safety and protection of children in our Scouting programs continues to be our top priority,” McCandless wrote.
McCandless said he, along with other Scout officials and state police, met with the Scouts of units that Glawson was affiliated with and their parents. He also made note of the organization’s youth protection program.