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BSA & Child Pornography


Former Scout Exec Sentenced in Porn Case

Monday, December 5, 2005
Fort Worth, Texas (AP)

A former Boy Scouts executive was sentenced Monday to eight years in prison for collecting child pornography from the Internet.

Douglas S, Smith, Jr., 62, an executive in the Boy Scouts of America at the time he was charged, pleaded guilty in March to one count of possessing child porn.

"The good news is that the court certainly harmed Mr. Smith a lot less than the court could have," said Jack Strickland, Smith's attorney. "They take these cases very seriously, as they should."

Smith had faced between five and 20 years in prison. He did not immediately return a call Monday to his home seeking comment.

In a statement to the court, Smith apologized to his wife and three sons, church members and friends, and the Boy Scouts for the pain and humiliation he caused.

U.S. District Judge Terry Means ordered Smith to surrender to prison officials Jan. 9.

In March, Smith acknowledged receiving and sending over the Internet more than 500 images of boys, some younger than age 12, posing nude or engaging in sex acts.

Smith worked for the Boy Scouts for 39 years, the last nine as a national program director, but he did not work directly with children in his most recent job, Boy Scouts officials have said. He resigned in February after the allegations surfaced.

Court records show that Smith, who was not accused of or charged with child molestation, checked into a sex addiction clinic this summer and also helped federal agents arrest and indict a Pittsburgh, Pa., man with whom he shared and traded child pornography.

Prosecutors agreed that Smith deserved leniency in his sentence for his assistance . After his release, Smith must spend the rest of his life under federal supervision, the judge ordered.

Ex-Scouts official pleads guilty
Colleyville man led anti-molestation group

01:26 PM CST on Wednesday, March 30, 2005
By MICHAEL GRABELL / The Dallas Morning News

FORT WORTH – The attorney for a top Boy Scouts of America official said Wednesday that his client inadvertently stumbled into child pornography and was remorseful for his role in viewing and sending images of young boys.

Douglas Sovereign Smith Jr., 61, the former national director of programs for the Boy Scouts, was accused of trading several computer images of minors engaging in sexual acts and exposing themselves. Mr. Smith, who once led a task force to prevent child molestation, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of receiving and distributing child pornography.

"This is a man who, for his entire life, has been a good man," said Mr. Smith's attorney, Jack Strickland. "He was a good family man. He was a good representative for the Boy Scouts. I would hate for his entire life to be judged by one stupid act."
Douglas Smith Jr. Mr. Strickland said Mr. Smith became involved in pornography "by accident." Although he initially rejected an offer to receive the sexually explicit material about four years ago, he later agreed and made the mistake of sending the images to others, Mr. Strickland said.

"I think he does acknowledge that he has a problem," Mr. Strickland said. "He's got a problem in viewing, receiving and then passing on this material."

When he is sentenced July 12, Mr. Smith faces five to 20 years in prison and may be required to pay a fine of up to $250,000.

"Child pornography is like anything else. It's supply and demand. All we can do, as law enforcement, is chip away at the demand," Assistant U.S. Attorney Bret Helmer said. "He is contrite and obviously he wanted to put this behind him."

U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Bleil said Mr. Smith had been following the terms of his release and could remain free until sentencing. "I do find, with clear and convincing evidence, that you are not a danger to others," Judge Bleil said.

According to court documents, the investigation began in Dusseldorf, Germany, in November 2003, when German officers searched the home of a man who was suspected of trafficking in child pornography.

A forensic examination of the man's computers revealed multiple e-mails containing child pornography. Among the addresses found was one from Mr. Smith's home account, according to documents.

On Feb. 22, 2005, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau agents seized Mr. Smith's two computers and several computers disks revealing 520 images of male child pornography, including sexually explicit depictions of boys under the age of 12, the documents said.

Mr. Helmer said Smith was sharing the pictures with the German contact as well as other recipients. He noted that it is common among pornographers to exchanges images in the hope that they'll receive more in return.

Mr. Helmer said no Boy Scouts were pictured, nor were any images found on Mr. Smith's work computer. Further, investigators found no evidence that Mr. Smith participated in sexual acts with children, Mr. Helmer said.

"Certainly, mothers and dads shouldn't be concerned that this is a pervasive epidemic among the Boy Scouts of America," Mr. Helmer said. "We find no proof of that."

Mr. Strickland also stressed that his client was not a child predator. "If he were, he would have been indicted. He wouldn't be out here on pre-trial release," he said.

The national headquarters in Irving learned of the investigation in late February and allowed authorities to search Mr. Smith's office and computer, Boy Scouts spokesman Gregg Shields said Tuesday. Mr. Smith was placed on administrative leave in late February and retired soon after, he said.

The organization has extensive programs for youth protection, requires training by volunteers and does criminal background checks on employees, Mr. Shields said.

A memo posted online from Nov. 22, 2002, lists Mr. Smith as chairman of the Youth Protection Task Force for the Boy Scouts.

The task force is responsible for training scout leaders to prevent child molestation and abuse. A Web site on the Youth Protection program includes guidelines, handbooks and training videos for troop leaders.

Mr. Smith, who had been program director since 1996, won a Distinguished Service Award for the Boy Scouts in 2004.

Neighbors said Mr. Smith is married with adult-age children.

Boy Scout director charged with having child porn
Organization 'dismayed and shocked by allegations

NBC News
Updated: 1:24 p.m. ET March 29, 2005

DALLAS, Texas - The national director of programs for the Boy Scouts of America has been charged with receiving and distributing child pornography, the U.S. Attorney's office here told NBC News on Tuesday.

Douglas S. Smith Jr. was charged with one felony count of having photos that show "minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct."

Sources in the U.S. Attorney's office told NBC that Smith was expected to plead guilty.

The images were of young boys and the investigation started in Germany, the sources added.

In a statement Tuesday, the Boy Scouts of America said it had no indication of prior criminal activity.

"We are dismayed and shocked to learn of the charge," it said. "Smith was employed by the organization for 39 years, with no indication of prior criminal activity. He was not in a leadership position which involved working directly with youth."

The statement said Smith was placed on paid administrative leave immediately after the organization learned that he was being investigated for a crime, and that Smith decided to retire shortly thereafter.

Smith, 61, would not comment when reached by phone at his home.

He was expected to appear in federal court Wednesday morning. If tried and found guilty, he faces prison time ranging from five to 20 years.

A resident of Colleyville, Texas, Smith is still active in troop activity and is himself an Eagle Scout.
© 2005 MSNBC Interactive

Corporate Legal Times
Volume 14, Number 152
Copyright 2004 Corporate Legal Times LLC

July, 2004

At the Non-Profit Bar

By: Bruce D. Collins

I AM an Eagle Scout. My mother was a den mother and my father a pack leader and an assistant scoutmaster. A Cub Scout at the age of 8, I was a patrol leader, senior patrol leader, junior assistant scoutmaster and summer camp assistant scoutmaster. I was selected for the Order of the Arrow and served in the National Scout Service Corps at the New York World's Fair in 1965.

I joined the Explorer Scouts and even attended a national Explorer delegate conference. Scouting gave me opportunities, taught me useful skills and imbued me with many positive values.

James Dale was a Boy Scout who had basically the same involvement in the organization as I had. The only real difference between Dale and me is that he is gay and I am not.

Dale was a 19-year-old assistant scoutmaster when the Scouts discovered he was a homosexual in 1990. They kicked him out. He sued, claiming discrimination. The case, BSA v. Dale, went to the Supreme Court, which ruled in a 5-4 decision that the Scouts had a First Amendment right of expressive association that allowed them to choose their leaders.

Decided in 2000, the case inspired other discrimination claims, and ultimately changed the organization.

When I came across the Scouts' Web site, I had the disquieting idea that today's Boy Scouts is a fundamentally different organization from the one I was a member of 40 years ago. My first thought was, why in world does such a do-gooder organization even need such a site?

The answer came when I clicked on the "Litigation" link. Up popped a distressing number of suits (including the Dale case) brought against the Scouts and by the Scouts. The site focused much attention on BSA v. Wyman-a case prompted by Connecticut's decision to exclude the Boy Scouts from its state-employee charitable-giving campaign because of fears the Scouts' policy toward gays violated state discrimination law. The Scouts lost that one, and this time the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal.

As I paged through the site, I read very legalistic discussions about the difference between a "known" homosexual and an "avowed" homosexual. The court opinions went on at great length about the morality of homosexuality, and how some religions regard it as a sin and others don't. And about how the Scout Law requires a boy to be reverent, but Scout policy refuses to endorse one religion over another. And about how scoutmasters are instructed to handle boys' questions about sex and sexuality. And about how the Boy Scouts never had a policy about homosexuality until after Dale outed himself.

The site offered many links to organizations that support the Boy Scouts' position on gays, including those that filed amicus briefs. Not surprisingly, those links touted traditional, conservative values. Often, they contained appeals for funds to support the organizations.

The tone of the Scouts' FAQ page seemed defensive. Another page talked about state and local governments and the ACLU seeking to "punish Scouting for standing up for and affirming its First Amendment freedoms."

Clearly, Scouting is under siege in the ongoing culture war, and is expending considerable resources in its defense.

As contentious and even as violent as the 1960s were, I had always seen my Boy Scout life as a refuge from the political and culture wars. My well-thumbed Boy Scout Handbook (which I still have) was chock full of good stuff about both camping and life skills. It counseled morality, clean living and obedience. Its themes were tolerance and inclusiveness.

Ours was a troop of boys from all economic classes that served as a haven from the often brutal social divisions we all experienced in junior and high school. Nerds and poor kids could be leaders in Boy Scouts.

But now, after reading the cases and Scouting's vigorous defense of itself, it seems there has been a fundamental change. The Boy Scouts have been dragged into-or have placed themselves amid-the broad division that has infected the rest of our society.

Just as national politics have been dichotomized into blue and red states, so, too, has Scouting been set apart. As a former Boy Scout, an Eagle Scout to this day and a citizen, I am not happy about it. I can see no a good outcome on the horizon.

Bruce D. Collins is the corporate vice president and general counsel of C-SPAN. E-mail:

Corporate Legal Times
September, 2004

Boy Scout Pride

Dear Editor:

Bruce Collins is mistaken when he calls Boy Scouts a "fundamentally different" organization from the one he joined 40 years ago. ["An Eagle Scout Takes Issue With Group's Politics" July, p. 7]. Boy Scouts is the same organization with the same values and goals. What is fundamentally different, however, is our times.

Some intolerant elements in our society want to force scouting to abandon its values and to become fundamentally different. They want scouting to forego its constitutional rights, affirmed in 2000 by the Supreme Court in BSA v. Dale, and adopt fundamentally different values from the ones that helped shape the character of Mr. Collins and 106 million other young men over the past 94 years.

It bothers Mr. Collins that scouting is defending itself, even though he acknowledged that it has been "dragged into" the "culture war." He says the tone of our legal-issues web site,, is defensive. The site does seek to defend our values and to inform the public about the three-decade-long legal assault on scouting. That we need a legal-issues web site is testament to the fact that our constitutional rights are under attack.

Clearly, Mr. Collins longs for a time when the Boy Scout organization could give its undivided attention to the "good stuff" of Scouting: "camping and life skills ..." So do we. Mr. Collins would do well to communicate his displeasure to those directing their discriminatory assault against his beloved Boy Scouts -- the ACLU.

Douglas S. Smith Jr.
National Director of Program
Boy Scouts of America

November 22, 2002

Dear Scout Executive:

The Boy Scouts of America is a leader in the field of youth protection. On February 1, 2003, we will again be expanding our offering of programs designed to protect youth.

A youth protection training course, "Youth Protection Guidelines for Adult Leaders and Parents," will be available on the Internet for volunteers, parents, and other individuals within your council area. This course will make youth protection training and resources easily accessible to all leaders. The new Tour Permit Policy, which requires at least one youth protection-trained leader for any activity requiring a tour permit, is effective January 1, 2003. This new online training course will help ensure that now activities will need to be canceled because no youth protection-trained leader is available. Effective February 1, 2003, a leader may take either the online course or the regular youth protection course that your council has been offering.

You may also share this training link through your council's Web site with individuals from schools, churches, or other youth-serving organizations in your council area. After a participant completes the online training, the participant's name will be sent to PAS and matched. If the participant is a registered adult member, the following will be sent back quickly:

1.   A certificate of completion

2.   A letter from you, the Scout Executive of their council.

3.   An explanation of your council's youth protection reporting procedures.

4.   A course information handout.

Participants who are not registered adult members will receive all of the above except the certificate of completion.

Participants who do not have a computer at home can go to a local library and take the course online.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. This is a groundbreaking initiative for youth protection and the Boy Scouts of America. We are confident your council will find the Youth Protection Training Web site helpful in providing the most wholesome possible environment for young people.


Douglas S. Smith Jr
Chairman, Youth Protection Task Force
National Director of Program

(The above editorials and memo were found on BSA web sites, but removed the day the news media published Smith's charges.)

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