SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — At least four people have come forward accusing former Boy Scouts assistant chaplain James Glawson of sexually assaulting them.
Glawson, 74, was arraigned Wednesday in a Washington County District Courtroom on nine new felony counts, eight of which were first-degree sexual assault. He also faces a charge of possession of child pornography.
Glawson has been held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institutions since his arrest on Feb. 14. He was arraigned that day on three counts of first-degree sexual assault and one count of second-degree sexual assault on an 18-year-old man with mental disabilities.
In total, that makes 11 counts of first-degree sexual assault, one count of second-degree sexual assault, and one count of possession of child pornography, however R.I. State Police have said additional charges are possible as they continue to investigate. Anyone who has information on the case or wishes to file a complaint against Glawson is asked to contact detectives at (401) 764-5346.
Glawson is due back in court March 13 for a status hearing and was advised to hire a lawyer by then, since he didn’t qualify for a public defender.
According to court documents obtained by Eyewitness News, the new allegations against Glawson date back to Oct. 1, 1981. The alleged victims’ names are redacted; they’re listed as “Victim Two,” “Victim Three,” and “Victim Five.” There’s no mention of a Victim 1 or 4.
First-degree sexual assault is defined here as “sexual penetration.” Court documents list Victim Two as being “13 years of age or under” at the time of the alleged abuse and that the sexual penetration was “by force and coercion.” There are two counts involving Victim Two.
Glawson is charged with one count of first-degree sexual assault against Victim Three, whose age is not listed but was also reportedly engaged “by force and coercion.”
Glawson is charged with five counts of first-degree sexual assault on Victim Five, who is listed as “13 years of age or under” at the time and was allegedly engaged “by force and coercion.”
In a recording of Glawson’s arraignment provided by the court, a state trooper is heard reading the facts of the case, saying, “multiple persons had either made contact or were contacted by the Rhode Island State Police who identified themselves as victims of Mr. James Glawson. All of these persons described being brought to Mr. Glawson’s home in Exeter where he forced them to have sexual interactions by means of sexual penetration. All of these victims were identified as ranging from the ages of 10 to 16 years old, all with connections to the Rhode Island Boy Scouts.”
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.
Day One, a support and advocacy group for victims of sexual abuse and violence, also offered their services to those affected by the case. They can be reached at (401) 421-4100.