Boy Scout executive David Tate testified in Santa Barbara Superior Court Tuesday that he fully cooperated with law enforcement about a 13-year-old Scout’s molestation, but the boy’s mother is expected to testify Wednesday that he tried to talk her out of contacting authorities.
At the time of the Christmas tree lot incident in 2007, Tate was mandated by California law to report cases of child abuse. But his first call was to Scout officials, according to a lawsuit filed by the boy’s family. In evidence is Tate’s 2007’s report claiming that when the victim’s mother called him about her son’s molestation, Tate advised her to call police.
After Tate went down to the Yule tree lot sponsored by Troop 36, a Sheriff’s investigator complained that by speaking to volunteer Al Stein, Tate “ruined” the investigation by giving Stein all night to erase any computer files that could have been evidence. It’s not clear whether he did so.
On the stand Tuesday, Tate admitted that he filed a complaint against the parents for bringing the boy back down to the lot, saying that he felt that it might have added abuse. He denied that it was retaliation for the family notifying authorities.
Stein was kicked out of Scouts, pleaded no contest to child endangerment, violated probation due to possession of child pornography, and served a prison term. He is not at the trial. The family is seeking actual and punitive damages against BSA and Los Padres Council of Boy Scouts.
Earlier Tuesday, the former Scout, now a 20-year-old Santa Barbara City College student, told of being so fearful of possible further molestation that he underwent therapy just to be able to go from his house to the mail box, then making enough progress to walk around the block.
He takes classes online but said, “It’s hard for me to be on campus. Like I wasn’t really safe there. I feel safer at home.” But he told of a trip to San Diego with a friend.