Former Catholic Chaplain and Boy Scout Leader Sentenced to 60 Years for Serial Sexual Assault

A former Catholic chaplain and Boy Scout leader has been sent to jail for the next four decades for sexually abusing at least six boys over the past forty years. This case illustrates that sexual predators are dangerous at any age and we are grateful that this serial predator will not be able to hurt any other children.

James Glawson worked as a Catholic chaplain at the Camp Yawgoog Boy Scout summer camp where he groomed and abused at least six boys between 1981 and 2019. The fact that Glawson was still abusing in 2019 when he was 74 years old demonstrates the need for perpetrators to be identified, charged, and jailed regardless of their age. We are grateful to the police and prosecutors who investigated this case and applaud their efforts to keep children in Rhode Island safer.

Because Glawson was operating as a Catholic chaplain and because Camp Yawgoog falls within the Diocese of Rhode Island, we call on Bishop Thomas Tobin to use every resource at his disposal to ensure the information about Glawson is circulated among parents and parishioners at every church where Glawson may have worked, volunteered or attended. Bishop Tobin should also personally encourage victims to come forward and make a report to local police and prosecutors. Finally, he should add Glawson’s name to the list of abusers within his diocese. We are especially concerned because at least one of Glawson’s victims was developmentally disabled. We worry that there may be other vulnerable victims that he had access to and was able to intimidate into silence.

This case is another example of the overlap of abuse between the Boy Scouts and the Catholic Church. International cases – like those of Louis Brouillard in Guam and Bernard Preynat in France – illustrate the diaspora of abuse in both organizations. Clearly, there is more to be done to protect Catholic children and young Boy Scouts from abuse. We believe that the USCCB should work to identify all of their clergy who worked within the BSA so that the abuse files between the two institutions can be compared and still-hidden abusers and enablers can be rooted out.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)


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