Boy Scouts of America employee facing child pornography charges; SNAP questions how this happened
Christopher Mendoza was fired by the Boy Scouts of America- Alamo Area Council (BSA-AAC) after he was arrested last week and charged with possession of child pornography and possession with intent to promote child pornography. Mendoza worked in the Council's outdoor programming department at the time of his arrest and had been employed since 2014 in various roles within the BSA-AAC. He was released on bond by the Bexar County, Texas, court.
It is baffling to us that the Boy Scouts of America claimed in response to the arrest that it has some of the “strongest protection policies" of any youth organization in the country. Mendoza apparently managed to evade the screening process and work for the BSA-AAC undetected for seven years. We find it hard to believe that this accused child pornographer was not engaging in this behavior during the entire course of his employment. This leads us to wonder if someone with knowledge of Mendoza's proclivities looked the other way, as well as how many others may have also slipped through the cracks.
According to research, more than half of those caught with child pornography are also hands-on abusers. Young scouts may well have been in danger and may even have been harmed. BSA-ACC must pull out all the stops to find out if Mendoza touched or photographed children who were entrusted to him through scouting. His role in camps means thousands likely came in contact with him.
The federal bankruptcy procedure recently used by the BSA to stop discovery and to shield its records also prevented advocates and law enforcement from examining the system within the BSA that permitted over 7000 abusers to thrive, and over 90,000 victims to emerge. We believe that each state and the federal government should conduct secular investigations into the BSA to uncover what has remained hidden. You cannot solve a problem until you thoroughly examine the policies and behaviors that created it.
Contact: Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected], 267- 261-0578), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009), SNAP Leaders San Antonio, Contact: Patti Waller Koo, 956-648-7385, [email protected], Zac Zepeda, 210-317-7511 [email protected]
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for more than 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org.)