Boy Scouts leader arrested in RCSD online predator sting banned from all programs
Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) – A former Midlands Boy Scouts leader, Heath Mills, was called “abhorrent” by the organization after he was arrested as a part of an online predator sting led by the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.
Mills was charged with solicitation of a minor.
Boy Scout leader in Lexington County arrested for solicitation of a minor during online predator sting. Local Boy Scout organization calls his behavior “abhorrent” and that he’s been prohibited from and future participation. #scnews pic.twitter.com/Wk2HjnEQfO
— Josh Berry (@_joshberry) July 27, 2018
Doug Stone, Scout Executive/CEO of the Indian Waters Council of the Boy Scouts of America issued the following statement:
“This individual’s behavior is abhorrent and runs counter to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America stands. Upon learning of this report, we took immediate action to remove the individual and prohibit him from any future participation in our programs.
Nothing is more important than the safety of our youth members. We seek to prevent child abuse through comprehensive policies and procedures to serve as barriers to abuse. These include a thorough screening process for adult leaders and staff, criminal background checks, requiring two or more adult leaders be present with youth at all times during Scouting activities, and the prompt mandatory reporting of any allegation or suspicion of abuse.”
The Boy Scouts of America also issued a statement saying:
“Nothing is more important than the safety of our youth members and that is our top priority. We work every day to protect children by mandating strict youth protection policies and procedures at every level of our organization. These include a thorough screening process for adult leaders and staff, requiring youth protection training of all adult leaders and volunteers, and the prompt mandatory reporting of any allegation or suspicion of abuse.
“We consistently evaluate and reinvest resources where needed to strengthen our policies and ensure they are in line with and, where possible, ahead of society’s knowledge of abuse and best practices for prevention. We also regularly consult with experts from law enforcement, child safety, psychology, and other relevant fields.”
On background, The Boy Scouts of America conducts extensive screening for any potential volunteers such as background checks, including criminal background checks of which the BSA completes between 200,000 and 250,000 every year.
For more information about the BSA’s youth protection policies, please visit bsayouthprotection.org.