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Former Petaluma Resident Among Those Named in Scouts' "Perversion Files"

Richard P. Wargo was a volunteer with local Boy Scout Troop in the '80s where he is accused of molesting at least four boys. But the abuse was kept hidden from parents and it's not clear the police ever investigated.

A Petaluma pilot is among the more than 1,200 people named in the Boy Scouts’ “perversion files,” a list of volunteers suspected of inappropriate sexual behavior with children the organization kept for decades but did not share with parents or the police.

The files were released Thursday as part of an $18.5-million settlement between the Boy Scouts and a victim.

The Los Angeles Times has created a list of the cases by year, city, state and troop number. The newspaper's list includes the time period covered by today's release - 1965 to 1985 - but also other accusations and documents gathered and released in various court cases.

According to the file, Richard P. Wargo, a Petaluma pilot and volunteer troop leader with Boy Scouts Troop No. 74 molested four children from 1982 to 1984. In one instance, Wargo, then 47 years old, kissed a child and told him he loved him and in another fondled a boy after asking him to sit on his lap. Then on a camping trip, he molested another boy in a tent, according to the files.

Wargo was eventually confronted by the troop leader and asked to resign, which he did while claiming he was innocent and had been misunderstood. The incidents were reported to the police, but it’s not clear that Wargo was ever investigated.

Instead, Wargo moved on to other victims.

He was convicted of two counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14 in 1989 and was sentenced to prison. He now lives in Arkansas.

Petaluma Police told the Press Democrat they had requested the file on Wargo and were looking into the details of the case.

What do you think about the recently-released files? Boy Scout parents/volunteers: Have enough safety measures been put in place to prevent similar abuse from happening?

Active Thinker October 21, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Gross. Shameful. Lame. Abuse. The boy scouts are in big trouble. Such a bummer that this happens. Just like the church's and so many youth athletics around the world. People in power abuse kids. These adults if found guilty deserve prison with inmates who will help them understands what they did.
Rosy Stubbornness December 11, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Trust me, the Scouts now have very strict policies and procedures in place, and have for at least 5 years. In addition, every volunteer and scout goes through training, supervision is tight. This can never happen now. And it was impossible when my son was in Troop 74 several years ago.

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