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Michigan AG says guilty plea in Boy Scouts abuse case could spur change in other organizations

Memorial Day saluting at a cemetery.
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Memorial Day saluting at a cemetery.

The first person charged with criminal sexual misconduct in an investigation of the Boy Scouts of America has pleaded guilty.

Nessel said the plea should be the beginning of change for organizations like the BSA.

“I'm just hoping that we see a significant change in any institutions that routinely deal with children to ensure that their safety and protection is more important,” she said.

Mark Chapman, 51, accepted two charges of sexual abuse of two boys between 2000 and 2005. The first charge carries 12 to 20 years in prison and the second carries 10 to 15 years. Chapman also accepted lifetime sex offender registration and lifetime electronic monitoring.

In a statement, Chapman's attorney, Sam Bennett, said Chapman "has taken responsibility for his actions."

"As a victim of sexual abuse himself as a child, Mr. Chapman understands the impact this has on the victims in this case. He has expressed deep remorse for his actions," Bennett said.

The investigation is being led by Attorney General Dana Nessel, who said her office has received more than 5,000 claims from the BSA about potential abuse in Michigan. So far, they have reviewed 550 of those claims and 60 have been passed onto the Michigan State Police for further inquiry.

Chapman’s sentencing is scheduled for December 14.

Copyright 2022 Michigan Radio. To see more, visit Michigan Radio.

Emily Blumberg