Boy Scouts Executive Arrested on Sexual Battery, Molestation Charges: Police

Newsweek [New York NY]

January 15, 2022

By Thomas Kika

An executive with Boy Scouts of America was arrested in Florida on Friday after multiple allegations of child sexual abuse came to light.

John Bruce Larsen, 52, was taken into police custody in Volusia County and charged with two counts of sexual battery on a child less than 12 years of age, two counts of sexual battery on a child older than 12 but younger than 18, and four counts of lewd molestation for children under 12. He previously served as a district executive for the Boy Scouts’ Central Florida chapter.

Larsen is accused of sexually abusing at least three underage boys over an undetermined period of time. The allegations were relayed to local detectives in interviews carried out with the boys, according to an arrest report obtained by local news outlet WESH. Due to the heavily redacted content of the report, it is unknown if any of the victims were Boy Scouts.

Two of the victims are reported to be siblings. The boys’ mother told detectives how one of her sons said Larsen had been sexually abusing him since he was 8 years old. It is unknown at this time what age any of the victims are now. Her other son also said that Larsen had touched him inappropriately while he was visiting Larsen’s home.

The third victim is reported to be a friend of the other two and told detectives that Larsen had interacted with him in inappropriate ways that made him feel uncomfortable. When the boy asked Larsen to stop, he ignored the request and kept going.

In a statement sent to WESH, Larsen’s Boy Scouts of America chapter condemned his actions and said that he is no longer involved with the group.

“The actions alleged to have been committed by John Larsen are reprehensible and opposed to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America stands,” Eric Magendatz, CEO of the Boy Scouts of America’s Central Florida Council, wrote in the statement. “Upon learning of these allegations and his arrest, we took immediate action to prohibit him from participation in Scouting.”

Due to Larsen’s affiliation with the Boy Scouts, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office believes that there might be more victims of his actions. As part of his former position, Larsen would visit schools to recruit children for the group.

Anyone with information about Larsen’s actions or his potential is urged to contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Sex Crimes Unit at 407-254-7000, ext. 70641, or ext. 70557.

Newsweek reached out to the Boy Scouts of America Central Florida Council for a comment on this story.