55-year-old Boy Scout leader Ronald L. Rowcliffe has been accused of sexually abusing multiple scouts at a summer camp in the Adirondacks over the course of the past three summers. The New York State Police arrested Rowcliffe last Thursday, September 5.
Rowcliffe has been charged with two counts of first-degree sexual abuse and one count each of forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child.
According to the state police, Rowcliffe sexually abused “several” children at the Massawepie Boy Scout Camp in Piercefield in the summers of 2017, 2018, and 2019. The victims were between the ages of 12 and 14.
Police believe that there might be other victims. Other scouts who believe they are victims and anyone else with information related to this case have been asked to call (518) 873-2750.
Rowcliffe is a Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 0086 in Brockport, which is near Rochester.
Scouts from the Seneca Waterways Council visit the Massawepie camp each summer. This council includes scouts from Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Wayne, and Yates counties.
The NY State Police are continuing to investigate this case and additional charges are pending, according to troopers.
Attorney contributor Laurence Banville helps victims of sexual assault find justice against their assaulters and negligent third parties who failed in their legal duty to prevent the assault. We’ve asked Laurence for some thoughts on the legal rights of Boy Scout sexual abuse victims and their families:
In August of 2019, the Boy Scouts of America organization announced that they had referred approximately 120 counts of sexual abuse by scout leaders to law enforcement. The organization has also been named in multiple lawsuits and one lawyer says that as many as 12,000 scouts have been abused within the organization.
Youth organizations like the Boy Scouts have a legal duty to make sure the kids under their watch are protected from sexual predators. Sadly, predators often seek out positions in these types of groups for the opportunity to commit terrible crimes against children.
When a scout leader is accused of sexual abuse, it’s important to investigate the organization as well and determine if the abuse could have been prevented if not for negligence – such as failing to report previous complaints of sexual misconduct.
If you or a loved one has been sexually abused in the Boy Scouts or another youth organization, you can learn more about your legal rights by contacting one of our experienced sex abuse victims attorneys.