Almost four decades later, former Scout leader admits to abuse contained in file

Posted at 12:47 PM, Oct 25, 2012
and last updated 2016-09-07 15:28:04-04

In 1974, Scout executives arranged a meeting with a 47-year-old merit badge counselor Rolland L. Woods at an Independence church.

Inside, the executives informed the married father they had received a letter from a Scout’s parents, accusing him of molesting their son several times.

After the third incident, the handwritten letter said the 15-year-old “returned home and with great humiliation told his parents.”

Scouting leaders encouraged Woods to resign and filled out a confidential file for “abnormal sexual behavior involving a boy.”

The file had no evidence the allegations were ever reported to police and 41 Action News found no criminal record on the former Scout leader.

Reached at his home in Anderson, Mo. nearly four decades later, the 84-year-old man admitted the accusations were true. He told 41 Action News Scouting leaders assured him “it would never get out” if he immediately resigned.

“I felt so bad, so nasty, so cheap and so dirty that nothing like that ever happened again,” said Woods. “It’s been so many years that I haven’t thought about it.”

When asked what he would say to the person he had molested, Woods said, “I would tell him I’m very, very sorry. I know the good Lord has forgiven me for all these things.”

Woods, who lost his wife of nearly 65 years earlier this year, said he never told anyone about what had occurred back in 1974.