Orange County

Boy Scouts district executive accused of sexual battery of children in Orange County, deputies say

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County deputies said a Boy Scouts district executive was arrested and is accused of sexual battery on children.

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Deputies said John Larsen was arrested Friday afternoon after a warrant for his arrest was issued by Orange County Sheriff’s Office Sex Crimes detectives Thursday.

Deputies said Larsen is facing two counts of sexual battery on a victim less than 12 years of age; two counts of sexual battery on a child 12 or older, younger than 18; and four counts of lewd molestation on a child under 12.

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During the investigation, detectives learned that Larsen is a District Executive for the Central Florida Council, Boy Scouts of America, according to a report.

Deputies said because of the role Larsen held in the community, detectives believe there could be more victims.

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A spokesperson for the Central Florida Council, Boy Scouts of America released the following statement to Channel 9:

“The actions alleged to have been committed by John Larsen are reprehensible and opposed to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) stands. Upon learning of these allegations and his arrest, we took immediate action to prohibit him from participation in Scouting. We added Mr. Larsen to the BSA’s Volunteer Screening Database which prevents him from any future registration and participation in Scouting, including employment.

Nothing is more important than the safety and protection of the youth in our programs - it is our top priority. The BSA has some of the strongest youth protection policies of any youth-serving organization, which are informed by respected experts in the fields of child safety, law enforcement, and child psychology.

Our barriers to abuse include a thorough screening process for adult leaders and employees, which include criminal background checks; mandatory youth protection training for all volunteers and employees; a leadership policy that requires at least two youth-protection trained adults be present with youth at all times during Scouting activities and bans any one-on-one situations where adults would have any interaction alone with children - either in person, online, or via phone or text; a ban on the use of recording devices/cell phones near bathrooms and shower houses; and the prompt mandatory reporting of any allegation or suspicion of abuse to law enforcement.

We will continue to fully cooperate with law enforcement in this matter.”

Anyone who may have been a victim or has information is asked to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Sex Crimes Unit at 407-254-7000, ext. 70641 or ext. 70557.

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