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Michigan Attorney General announces first charges in Boy Scouts abuse investigation

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Michigan’s Attorney General on Wednesday unveiled the state's first charges in an investigation into abuse within the Boy Scouts of America.

51-year-old Mark Chapman faces ten counts of criminal sexual conduct. Those charges stem from alleged abuse of two people who were children at the time of the incidents more than 20 years ago, according to the attorney general's office.

The AG's office said Chapman was a scout troop leader and also worked in and attended the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Detroit suburb of Roseville.

Starting in 2000, one victim was abused at the church — where the troop sometimes met — and other places from the time he was 13 or 14 until he was 17, Nessel said. The second victim was assaulted for years beginning when he was about 11.

One of the men called a tip line.

Chapman had been imprisoned in New York on unrelated abuse charges. An inmate lookup on the New York State Department of Corrections website lists him as being granted conditional release Wednesday.

New York State Police told the Michigan Public Radio Network that it brought him into custody Wednesday afternoon on a “fugitive from justice” warrant. It was unclear whether Chapman was trying to evade authorities or if the warrant was the result of him being released from New York prison to immediately face criminal charges in Michigan.

Chapman could not be reached for comment, and it was not immediately clear if he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

Nessel said her investigation arose from claims made during a civil case against the Boy Scouts.

"Allegations of widespread sex abuse in the Boy Scouts of America and the civil case against the organization brought forward information that demanded action," she said

Nessel said she wants people to know her department is a “safe haven” for crime survivors.

"If a person reaches out to us, we take those allegations extremely seriously. And our team is comprised of experienced investigators, prosecutors and victim’s advocates with special training and years of
experience in sexual assault cases," said Nessel.

The Michigan Attorney General’s office said its investigation into the Boy Scouts has resulted in 5,000 claims. So far, around 60 have been sent to the Michigan State Police for further investigation.

The Boy Scouts of America says it “strongly supports efforts to ensure that anyone who commits sexual abuse is held accountable.”

The Boy Scouts last month reached a tentative settlement with a bankruptcy committee representing more than 80,000 men who say they were molested as children by Scout leaders and others.

All told, the compensation fund would total more than $2.6 billion, which would be the largest aggregate sex abuse settlement in U.S. history.

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
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