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Former Boy Scout Leader Charged With Molestation

Former Boy Scout Leader Charged With Molestation

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Sandra Yi ReportingPolice have arrested a former Boy Scout troop leader for sexual abuse of one of his scouts, and police say there could be more victims.

The 13-year old victim is a member of the suspect's former Boy Scout troop. That's how they first became friends and that's why the teen's parents trusted the man. But investigators say 22-year old Nicolas Barnard took advantage of the situation.

Police say the victim spent time at his home. The teen's mother became concerned because they were spending so much time together and because Barnard was buying her son a lot of gifts. Last month she called police. The suspect was then arrested on sex abuse charges.

Authorities believe there could be more victims. They say Barnard once worked at the Hollywood Connection, a family entertainment center, in West Valley City. A district manager tells us Barnard worked there a year and a half ago, and they never received any complaints.

But investigators want to get the word out. They say Barnard was a coach for a hockey league that played at the facility.

Det. James Dekanich, Toole County Sheriff's Office: "Each job that we found out that he's worked at is always been in a position where he's around other children, so it's possible that's where he was making his friends through."

Barnard was dismissed from the Boy Scouts a few months ago because of a fraud investigation. A spokesperson for the Great Salt Lake Council of the Boy Scouts of America says Barnard independently tried to conduct merit badge clinics without the organization's endorsement. He then had bills for his activities, totaling thousands of dollars, sent to the Boy Scouts.

Criminal charges weren't filed because it was considered a civil matter. The spokesperson says, at the time, the Boy Scouts had no idea about any sexual abuse claims. He says Barnard passed a background check. The Boy Scout Troop will have a meeting with parents tonight, and authorities will be there to address any concerns.

Parents who believe their child may have been a victim can call the Tooele County Sheriff's Office.

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