I want to take this moment to thank all those who took part in the article that was created in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette (3 Arkansas remember Boy Scouts as dark time), and I hope that our sharing empowers others to come forward.
Child sexual abuse in the Boy Scouts has been a plague from the beginning of the organization’s founding, and it represents a very real danger to all organizations structured to create one’s best self. Be it the end of Scouts as it was known or usher in a new era of Scouting, I only know that the abuse has to end for the sake of boys and girls yet to fill those ranks.
Every story and article we can share is a conversation starter, and as with any of society’s cancers it is the discovery and treatment born of awareness that eradicates it. I deeply appreciate Mr. Michael Kaiser, an attorney with the Lassiter and Cassinelli Firm, for having the integrity and character to take on my criminal case. He has given me the gift of hope, an advocate willing to fight so that the truth is known, and where injustice is found rightly expose it.
I also want to thank Mr. Van Arsdale, of the group Abused In Scouting, because they where the only ones willing to represent me in prison. They did not see where I am as taking away my rights or claim, and I am thankful for their determined efforts in behalf of all victims. Thank you on behalf of those in prison that you would not overlook and, in representing us, communicate our worth as human beings. Many of us would not be in prison today if we had not been abused, and in the aftermath seen ourselves, others, and the world through a warped and inaccurate perspective.
Please recognize each victim linked in abuse and this effort, no matter where they are, and support the truth that all abused deserve to be heard and with empathy understood. The trauma of child sexual abuse is horrible, and for boys that were abused by another man, for long periods of time, severely, it is life changing. 13,000 men have come forward, sharing their abuse and suffering, and that number fails to account for the friendships, family, and intimate relationships the trauma has impacted negatively.
How do you measure the loss of a lifetime of dreams, your ambitions and goals, and the unmaking of what values and morals one is raised to embrace? Some have successfully lived on, yes, and they have fought their whole lives to overcome the messages still echoing in the halls of their mind.
Thank you, Mr. Lee Keeton, for sharing your story, and uncovering another side to abuse that is born of racism and ignorance. Abusers find ways to single out many of us for different reasons, and be it race, sex, learning disabled, or merely being young its all inhumane. As for “Walker,” I think it is important to point out that it was after a physical manifestation of his trauma that he sought help. A psychologist was able to help him dig into those repressed experiences, and help him manage the seizures if the distrust of others remains.
The Boy Scouts of America was founded as a Christian organization celebrating the idea that all men are created equal. No abuser operates with the spirit of God at work within him, and the abuse of any child is as evil an injustice as any known to mankind. While I know that being included is a very intensive process, I encourage you to make the decision that allows you to be with us.
Some of the victims of my abuser, Jack Walls, endured the double shame of having families that refused them the opportunity to speak out due to shame. Others found a community that blamed them for not doing more to bring their abuser to justice, yet ignoring the many that refused to help end the nightmare. You don’t have to be silent any longer, don’t be a prisoner to the past another day, because secrets can be just as horrible as the bars and concrete that surround me. It’s time to tear down the walls, and begin cleaning up the rubble so we can build a successful future.
I know that many of you have questions about the details of what happened to my family and I, and I am proud to say that a book is almost completed that lays out my life in the raw. Samantha Jones, a legal assistant with a law firm of Missouri, is in the final stages of writing it, and we hope to see its publication early next year. It is my attempt to be transparent about my life completely, and our goal to share so that all may know the truth and learn from it. We want the world to question how Charles “Jack” Walls III, was able to molest hundreds of boys for close to 30 years in Lonoke County. We want to know why local law enforcement, elected prosecutors, and judges refused to bring Jack to justice. All should want to know why it took outsiders in Prosecuting Attorney Betty Dickey and Lonoke Police Chief Charles Peckat to investigate, accurately charge, and prosecute Charles “Jack” Walls III.
Please do not forget that Walls was charged with Solicitation to commit murder, too, for coercing me and others to kill in order to protect. I was not alone in the manipulated acts toward Mr. Cledis Hogan and his son Doug Hogan. Nor was I alone the night my family died. As for my being complicit in what Jack did to others, as the article suggested, the list is long and wide of those that failed to expose and end his abuses.
I claim my failure to fight through a decade of abuse, not to be the one that brought Jack down, but I did what I could to try even if it cost my family and I everything. Will those that benefited from the favor of Jack’s father, Judge Charles Walls II, claim their part? I was a kid when it began and a traumatized victim when it ended, and if that is my excuse, as you have labeled it, then what is yours?
I pray that the Boy Scouts of America can change in order to become the kind of institution our youth need to be their best. I hope that our criminal justice system will see all sex abuse victims equally, and in the light of understanding that trauma, as medical science now does, not ignore the reality of its influence.
As for the millions world wide that are survivors of abuse, I commend your fight to help end it and urge your voices take expression in all forms to communicate awareness. Imagine if all survivors of sexual abuse in Scouts came together, and as one body sought to share the lessons learned to create a better world. Would we not be embodying the very spirit of leadership, honor, integrity, character, morals, and values that are so needed today?
Please take the time to find ways to connect with other survivors, enable and empower them with your strength, and together we will earn a badge of honor no one can make or remove.
Thank you, Mr. Holt, for being an instrument of change by writing the article, and I hope those that read about our lives are made stronger by it.
Lastly, I wish to thank my family, those alive and who have passed, for believing in me and fighting for the truth from the start. Prison would have destroyed me without your love, support, understanding, and a refusal to be intimidated into silence. Together we have found our voice, now aided in a mission, and granted a God inspired purpose.