Readers' thoughts about The Star and KansasCity.com
Should convicted child sex abuser’s Cub Scout past be mentioned?
06/14/2013 3:30 PM
06/14/2013 3:30 PM
on four counts of first-degree statutory sodomy, sexual exploitation of a minor and child enticement. Its headline on KansasCity.com was “Former Cub Scout leader is convicted of sexually abusing two girls,” and it was “Former Scout leader convicted of sexually abusing two girls” in print.
One emailer told me he didn’t think Lemasters’ past with the Cut Scouts was germane to the story.
“What does this guy being a Cub Scout leader have to do with the news report?” he asked. “He was a lot of things, perhaps a father, a husband, a leader in his community, an employee. What would ANY of those things have to do with what he did?
“I and many others have spent a lifetime of volunteer work with scouting in an effort to provide a program of character for boys. You, in a few negative (and unnecessary) words, can cancel out a lot of dedicated positive efforts.”
Of course I understand his objection here. And you see people trying to cast aspersions on many different kinds of groups by pointing out the misdeeds of some of their members, whether relative or not.
Here, though, I think there can be arguments on both sides. The girls Lemasters was convicted of abusing were of the same age as Boy Scouts, and the fact that he sought out a leadership position with youngsters would seem extremely meaningful to many readers, I’m sure. We have all heard of too many reports about molesters who preyed on both male and female children.
In this case, I don’t find it egregious, though I absolutely understand the discomfort it has to cause to the many decent people who care deeply about the Cub Scout program.
Join the Discussion
The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.