Boy Scout abuse database includes local cases

A Los Angeles Times database of so-called “perversion files” documenting alleged sexual abuse by Boy Scouts of America troop leaders have expanded to include more information on a handful of cases tied to the tri-city region.

The files were obtained as a result of lawsuits against the Boy Scouts by alleged abuse victims or by media organizations.

The Times’ database provides a thorough picture of the widespread abuse allegations and how they were handled within the Boy Scouts of America between 1947 and January 2005, and reveals many incidents in which the organization failed to report the incidents to law enforcement officials in lieu of cover ups and quiet resignations.

The documents were kept internally by the organization to prevent suspected molesters from rejoining the program.

But in the five cases released with local ties — two in Glendale, one in Pasadena and two in La Crescenta — the documents claim that the accused troop leaders were either under investigation by police or had already been convicted.

The database also revealed an abuse report filed in Burbank in 1958 and a third in Glendale in 1996, but no further details were available.

The files show the Boy Scouts opened an investigation in 1987 into Donald Rosen, a then-50-year-old West Hollywood man and Scout Master for a Pasadena Boy Scout troop who was accused of fondling “nearly all the boys in his troop.”

In a letter dated Aug. 16, 1987, Catholic Chaplin Rudy Vallin described conversations with Scouts and assistant troop leaders about the alleged abuse.

“I spoke to two assistant Scoutmasters who said to each other in my presence, ‘Don has got to learn to keep his hands to himself. This time he did it to the wrong kid, and that will end up getting him blackballed from Scouting,’” Vallin wrote.

Rosen was axed from the organization on Oct. 23, 1987, according to a letter by then-San Gabriel Valley Boy Scouts Council President John Lewis.

While the documents claim the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was investigating Rosen, there’s no evidence that charges were filed, according to county Superior Court records.

Rosen had a run-in with law enforcement seven years earlier, when he was charged with committing a lewd act on a child, a Los Angeles County Superior Court spokeswoman said. Details on the charge were not immediately available.

In 1990, Jeffrey Mumford, a Glendale resident and computer programmer for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, was kicked out of the Scouting program after being charged with child sexual abuse the year before. Court records show the charges were later dismissed or not prosecuted.

Donald Kennaday, a 41-year-old refrigerator repairman and child photographer at the time, was ousted from the Scouts by the Verdugo Hills Council in 1986 after the organization discovered information of a conviction in Wyoming more than 25 years before, according to the documents.

No further information on the conviction was available since it occurred when he was a minor, according to the Scouting records.

The records claim that police at the time were investigating Kennaday, but court records show no charges were filed.

A file was also opened in 1984 for Mark Richard Gardner, who was a 39-year-old Glendale electronic engineer at the time.

In 2007, Gardner was convicted of seven counts of child sexual abuse in what appear to be unrelated incidents. Gardner has since been serving a 20-year sentence in California state prison.

He had been expelled from the program for similar allegations in 1984, according to his file.

Gardner is the only one of the five men listed in the Scout files who registered as a sex offender in California, records show.

An investigation into a 43-year-old bus driver, Charles Walker, was launched in 1974, though few details were included. Walker served on the Cub Committee for a La Crescenta troop for roughly six years.

“All I can offer is a statement made over the telephone by a Glendale Police Captain, who verified that this man should certainly be restricted from any contact with boys,” a Verdugo Hills Council executive wrote, about Walker, to the organization’s registration manager in 1975. “I can further verify that this man’s wife is getting a divorce because of his involvement with [name redacted].”


Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.

Copyright © 2019, Glendale News-Press
EDITION: California | U.S. & World