PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — A former Boy Scout leader has been sentenced to 40 years in prison after admitting he sexually assaulted six young men in Rhode Island, including one with developmental disabilities, prosecutors said.
James Glawson, 76, said in court that it made him “sick to think of what I have done,” and that he prayed that his victims could find peace.
Five of the assaults dated back to the 1980s, when Glawson served as a scout leader but the most recent, involving the disabled young man, occurred in 2019, prosecutors said.
“When a person sexually assaults a child whose safety has been entrusted to them, we know the consequences – they are severe and long-lasting” said Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha. “The defendant’s criminal conduct here, over a long period of time and involving multiple sexual assaults against multiple victims, warrants the long sentence imposed by the court..”
The Rhode Island State Police began investigating Glawson in 2019 following reports from staff at a Rhode Island group home of inappropriate contact between him and an 18-year-old resident there. The resident later told investigators that he was victimized by Glawson multiple times throughout the years.
Under questioning, Glawson admitted he had sexually assaulted the developmentally disabled victim, but also that he had victimized several other young men while he was a scout leader with the Boy Scouts during the 1980’s.
During the investigation, five victims came forward and pressed charges against Glawson. Glawson’s illegal conduct occurred as far back as 1981, prosecutors said.