10/28/2012 10:37 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Boy Scouts' Perversion Files Name Molesters From Ventura County, CA

From 1984 to 1991, the Boy Scouts of America created nine confidential files on allegations of sexual abuse from Ventura County.

The reports came from troops throughout the county, prompting local Scouting executives to report the cases to their national office.

In all but two cases, local Scouting officials said they first heard about the allegations after authorities made an arrest.

They filled out forms and sent handwritten logs, newspaper stories and other records, documenting reasons to bar the alleged offenders from Scouting. An official in the national office repeatedly stressed the importance of gathering details and personal accounts, such as a letter from a parent or child.

The Ventura County cases are:

August 1984

Allen Garver, a former volunteer with two troops in the Oxnard area, was arrested on molestation charges that apparently did not involve his work with the Boy Scouts, according to news reports in his file.

Garver, 40 at the time, later pleaded guilty to molesting two 12-year-old boys and to oral copulation with a boy under 16, the reports stated.

November 1986

Oxnard volunteer Edward Bartholomew was ousted from Boy Scouts of America after he was arrested on molestation charges in Ventura County, his file shows.

He was convicted in 1987 of sexual abuse charges involving three boys, ages 13 to 15, according to copies of news reports included in his file. Records don't indicate whether the boys were involved in Scouting.

March 1987

Little information was included in a file about a Michael Smith, who apparently was convicted of indecent exposure in the mid-1980s.

The only apparent connection to Scouting was a condition of his probation that barred Smith from registering with Boy Scouts of America or associating with any troops, according to a 1986 appellate court decision included in his file.

A local official noted in the paperwork that Smith was not registered with any local Scouting groups.

March 1988

Stephen Field was removed as a Santa Monica troop leader in 1971 after complaints were made about inappropriate behavior with a member of the troop, Boy Scouts' records show.

It's unclear exactly what happened. The records state only that a boy complained that Field had talked him into "homosexual activities on a number of different occasions."

But despite Field's suspension at the time and recommendations that he be kept out of Scouting, he showed up as an volunteer with a Fillmore troop nearly two decades later. Field, also a local teacher, later was arrested on molestation charges involving teenage boys in Ventura County.

He was convicted of molesting the two 13-year-old boys -- one a former student and the other a member of his Scout troop.

Field's file shows Ventura County Scouting executives suspended Field after learning of his arrest. Only then did officials appear to connect him to the previous reports from Santa Monica. There's no mention that anyone alerted authorities to any problems in 1971.

At Field's sentencing, the judge referred to a long history of misconduct, citing previous incidents in a probation report, according to a Star Free-Press article. They all followed a similar pattern.

After befriending a youth, Field would initiate sexual contact by first rubbing the youth's back, court records stated. Over time, the back rubs led to nude massages, and finally to intimate sexual contact, the reports stated, according to a news article.

The Ventura County Sheriff's Office wrote to the Boy Scouts of America after Field's arrest, asking for the group's file on him. Scouting officials responded with information shortly after, asking that authorities use it with discretion because they had tried to maintain their files so they could not be subpoenaed.

November 1988

Scouting officials were alerted to child abuse allegations involving a Simi Valley Cubmaster prompted by an anonymous call from a parent.

A woman called to say several mothers wanted the Cubmaster removed after hearing allegations that he had molested his daughter, according to the Boy Scouts' records.

Scouting officials sought confirmation from police, who indicated "unofficially" there was an investigation, the file states. While the man apparently never faced charges, Scouting officials suspended his registration and asked him to sever ties with the organization.

January 1989

The Boy Scouts' national office was notified that a former Scouting volunteer from Santa Paula had been arrested and convicted of molesting a relative.

January 1990

Norbert Kinsler, a local Scouting volunteer, was arrested in Ventura County on an out-of-state warrant in 1989, according to handwritten notes from a local Scouting official.

He later was convicted of lewd conduct with a minor in Idaho apparently not related to his Scouting work.

Kinsler, who was asked to sever any ties to the organization, had received a distinguished service award, called the Silver Beaver, a few years earlier.

October 1990

Longtime Conejo Valley Scouting leader Charles Ceballos resigned his position with a Thousand Oaks troop after his arrest on sexual abuse charges, according to news reports and other documents in his file.

Scouting officials apparently first learned of the allegations when they received his resignation letter shortly after his arrest.

Along with accepting his resignation, they suspended his registration and reported the information to the national office.

Ceballos later was convicted of molesting two young girls over several years, according to news reports.

October 1991

Scouting officials learned of molestation allegations involving John Atwood after a parent called police.

Atwood lived in Camarillo but was registered as a Scouting volunteer in Orange County. The allegations stemmed from an incident in San Diego County.

His file includes a detailed chronology that says a youth initially came forward and told an adult volunteer at a San Diego County camp that he was molested by Atwood. The incident allegedly occurred at a hotel the night before.

The volunteer helped the boy avoid further contact with Atwood but apparently didn't report the incident to authorities.

The boy later told his parents, who reported the incident to police. The volunteer told Scouting officials after receiving a call from the boy's father asking him to contact police, the Boy Scouts' file stated.

Orange County Scouting officials wrote in the records that they contacted Child Protective Services. They also notified Ventura County Scouting officials because Atwood lived in Camarillo and was a former troop leader in Oxnard, the file states. ___

(c)2012 Ventura County Star (Camarillo, Calif.)

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