Stowell faces probation hearing

Former Boy Scouts leader allegedly violated his probation for interacting with children and viewing pornography

By PETER ZUCKERMAN
pzuckerman@postregister.com

B. Stowell

Probation officers allege the Boy Scouts leader who pleaded guilty to molesting Scouts campers has violated his probation by touching children, spending time alone with them and looking at pornography.

Brad Stowell, 32, has been ordered to appear in Bonneville County court April 18 for a hearing on the allegations. Officers said in a report that he failed a polygraph interrogation in March. If he is judged to have violated parole, he could spend a decade in prison.

Probation officers have fitted Stowell with an anklet designed to monitor his movements.

In court records filed March 30, officers said Stowell admitted that he began looking at Internet pornography about nine months ago, including pictures of naked, prepubescent boys. He told the polygraph examiner he looked at the porn because he couldn't get aroused when having sex. He said he looked at it up to 25 times.

Stowell also told the examiner he fantasized about the boys he'd molested but hadn't tried to contact them. He became aroused when a young girl recently sat on his lap, the exam said. And he admitted that he gave some young boys back rubs similar to the ones he'd given to boys he molested at Camp Little Lemhi.

Stowell said his counselor encouraged him to have casual contact with kids so he could "get over his feelings of extreme fear of being in the presence of children."

When asked about these contacts, Stowell said he had "become pretty lax," court documents said.

Some terms of his probation

• No contact with anyone younger than 18.

• No going to parks, schools, playgrounds or other places children often go.

• No looking at the Internet.

• Participate in treatment programs.

• Register as a sex offender.

Note: Stowell's probation officer can modify these terms for some cases.

Two civil lawsuits filed against the Boy Scouts by victims were unsealed last month, and they detailed Stowell's method of "grooming" boys for abuse, which often began as back rubs.

The polygraph examiner wrote that, based on readings from the polygraph machine, "Stowell is very probably withholding significant information with regards to his activities in the past year."

Stowell was sentenced to 150 days in jail after he pleaded guilty to molesting Scouts. Bonneville County Sheriff's deputies arrested him in his Scouts uniform at Camp Little Lemhi in 1997. Stowell has since testified that he had been abusing boys at the camp since 1988. The civil lawsuit files show that Boy Scouts and LDS church officials had been warned repeatedly since 1991 that Stowell was a molester.

In the lawsuits against the Scouts, Stowell admitted under oath that he molested at least 24 children from Idaho to Alaska. One child was 6 years old.

During the April 18 probation hearing, Stowell will either confirm or deny the allegations. If he denies them, prosecutors will try to convince the judge Stowell is lying and should be punished.

Idaho Falls reporter Peter Zuckerman can be reached at 542-6750.

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