I was abused by paedo Boy Scout leader when I was 14 – he would give the same chilling gift to the boys he liked | The Sun

A FORMER Boy Scout has told how he was sexually abused as a teen by a camp leader who would give the same gift to the youngsters he liked.

Adam Steed, 41, has spent the last 26 years living with the trauma of being molested as a 14-year-old boy.

Adam has told his story as survivors and whistleblowers recount the Boy Scouts of America's decades-long cover-up of sex abuse cases in a new Netflix doc.

As a junior counsellor at Camp Little Lemhi, Idaho, Adam was one of millions of young kids going to summer camp to be part of the legendary Boy Scouts of America.

In 1997, the teenager found a new friend in 25-year-old Bradley Stowell, who moved to his town.

Stowell was part of the Mormon community and a senior member of staff at the local Boys Scouts – and later confessed to molesting at least 24 boys over a nine-year period.

The boys looked up to him – and the parents saw him as a charming, friendly, young man.

But as Adam grew closer to Stowell, the boundaries loosened and the Scout leader showed his true vile nature.

Bravely speaking the The Sun, Adam said: "Looking back now I realise how totally inappropriate the whole relationship was.

"Brad would make me come to his house, watch movies and massage my shoulders and then go so much further.

Most read in The Sun


Marcus Rashford in crash after Burnley game while driving £700k Rolls-Royce


Cheating Jermain Defoe at centre of new love riddle – with a wedding planner


Real reason for shock My Mum, Your Dad split as couple revealed to have failed

live injury

Strictly’s Nancy left mopping up blood live on the show after injury mid-dance

"I slept through it the first few times but then started to wake up as it was happening but didn't want Brad to know, so I never said anything."

Just after the sickening encounters began, camp started in Idaho and the abuse continued.

As a senior member of staff, Stowell exploited his power over Adam and several other boys wherever he could around camp, including the boys' shared bedroom.

Adam said he would wake up and find Stowell "completely naked" in his bed.

"It was super scary as we were the only people there, way out in the middle of nowhere," Adam said.

“He was sexually abusing me and my brain didn’t register what was happening and it was really confusing for me.”

The paedo Boy Scout leader was known to give necklaces with the Boy Scouts of America logo on to the boys he liked most around camp.

And it was the chilling gifts that prompted Adam to start talking to the boys who also had one.

One boy told him about similar experiences of abuse he faced at the hands of Stowell.

He was sexually abusing me and my brain didn’t register what was happening

Adam spoke to the camp leader in Idaho "at least four maybe five times" to tell him about the abuse he and several other boys were facing.

But he was told to "save scouting" by not telling anyone and made to keep it a secret from his parents.

This was all done out of fear of America's family friendly organisation being exposed for covering up decades of sexual abuse by their so-called trusting adults.

After reporting what was going on, Adam remembered a shift in his abuser's attitude towards him.

"He got really concerned that I was talking to everybody and didn’t understand why I was doing it," Adam said.

"He started getting really aggressive and angry and trying to give other kids attention as if it was going to hurt me somehow.”

Adam told how one time the twisted individual came into the shared bedroom and gave a boy The Book of Mormon to hold.

He then slid his hand under the book and began fondling the child in front of the group of boys, all aged between 14 and 18.

“Horrifying stuff kept happening after I had contacted the staff leaders over the phone, and I kept going back to the office but Brad was second in charge at the camp so he was protected," Adam said.

The brave man remembers his fellow scouts sharing stories about rumours they'd heard around camp.

One of the stories involved the cook's son who was allegedly sexually abused by Stowell when he was only seven-years-old in the camp's main office.

The heartbreaking story would end with the young man crying behind the blinds.

But it was a story a lot of the boys laughed at, according to Adam.

After trying to warn the Boy Scouts of the paedophile and tragically getting nowhere, Adam bravely told his dad.

Together they contacted the Idaho press and the local police and got Stowell arrested at camp.

The children he had touched got to see their abuser finally caught at the scene of the heinous crimes.

Stowell confessed to molesting at least 24 boys.

He took a plea bargain and originally received just 150 days in prison – less than a week per child he sexually abused.

This was later increased to 15 years of probation with an additional three years in prison for violating his parole.

It later emerged that in 1988, when Stowell was just 16-years-old, he had confessed to his mum, church bishop, and a police officer that he had touched a six-year-old boy in his neighbourhood.

Horrifying stuff kept happening after I had contacted the staff leaders over the phone

He was sent to six months of church-sponsored counselling before being hired to teach first aid at Camp Little Lemhi to little kids.

In the sworn testimony he delivered in 1997, Stowell said that he began preying on Boy Scouts that summer.

Speaking to The Idaho Falls Post in 2005, Stowell said he used to be a molester but claimed to be completely rehabilitated.

Adam has appeared on podcasts since and was the subject of Brian Knappenberger’s Sundance documentary, Church and the Fourth Estate, where he told his story on film.

Despite the abuse he suffered from a young age, Adam feels like he has let go of most of the trauma.

He said: "I do feel like I was a very fortunate lucky one as I believe very strongly that when you hold criminals accountable and dethrone institutional corporations that allow that type of thing your mental health problems leave you.

“You can have a normal life again.”

The Boy Scouts of America have faced over 82,000 allegations of abuse over the past 30 years and in 2023 they were ordered to pay out $2.4billion to the survivors.

Netflix's Scouts Honor: The Secret Files of the Boy Scouts of America reveals the true extent of the abuse.


Martin Lewis reveals check to get £3k tax refund – even if you’ve been rejected

Tom Parker’s widow Kelsey opens up about relationship with boyfriend Sean

The show features whistleblowers, a former cop, former Boy Scout employees, first person victim accounts and journalist Patrick Boyle – who reported on 1,200 confidential files on accusations of paedophilia in the organisation.

It came after the organisation filed for bankruptcy in February 2020, and thousands of victims filed lawsuits against the disgraced group.

Source: Read Full Article