Former Boy Scouts asst. chaplain charged with sexual assault

Former Boy Scout assistant chaplain charged with sexual assault

SCITUATE, R.I. (WPRI) — An Exeter man who previously worked with the Boy Scouts of America and other Catholic organizations is facing sexual assault charges.

At a news conference Friday, Rhode Island State Police announced that James Glawson was arrested Thursday in connection with the recently reported assault of a disabled 18-year-old man.

Glawson, 74, was arraigned Friday on three counts of first-degree sexual assault on a person who is mentally disabled and a single count of second-degree sexual assault. He was ordered held without bail and ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim.

It’s unclear at this time how Glawson knew the alleged victim, and whether that man was involved in Boy Scouts.

Detectives were seen Friday investigating at Glawson’s home on Widow Sweets Road.

The assault took place on multiple occasions over the past several years, according to state police, and was brought to their attention by the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF).

Police said Glawson was affiliated with the Boy Scouts from 1980-2018. Starting in 2012, he was an assistant Catholic chaplain and Eucharistic minister at St. John Bosco Chapel at Yawgoog Scout Reservation in Hopkinton.

He’s also affiliated with St. Bernard Church in North Kingstown and the Immaculate Conception Church in Westerly, according to police.

Police said the Boy Scouts and the Diocese of Providence are cooperating with the investigation.

Both organizations reiterated that in separate statements on Friday. 

“The behavior in these allegations is reprehensible and runs counter to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America stands. Nothing is more important than the safety and protection of children in our Scouting programs – it is our top priority,” Tim McCandless, Scout Executive/CEO of the Narragansett Council of the Boy Scouts of America stated.

“Prior to his arrest this individual’s registration in Scouting had previously been revoked for unrelated conduct that failed to meet Scouting standards,” McCandless continued. “At that time he was permanently banned from any future participation in Scouting.”

McCandless also said the organization has asked unit leaders to inform Scouts’ families of Glawson’s arrest.

In its statement, the Diocese noted that while Glawson was a volunteer, he was never an employee of the Diocese or a member of the clergy.

“He had the mandated BCI clearance in order to volunteer at the [Boy Scout] camp,” the statement read. “The Diocese offers prayers for healing of those affected by this situation.”

Police are still looking into the possibility of additional victims. Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives at (401) 764-5346.

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