Q2 Morning Email Newsletter

Oct 22, 2012 8:26 PM by Drew Trafton - Q2 News

Boy Scout documents suggest SD2 failed to act on alleged sexual assault

BILLINGS - Information released from the Boy Scouts of America "perversion files" shows School District 2 in Billings may not have acted on a 1976 allegation of sexual assault against one of its teachers.

Edward Leland Jr. taught at Will James Middle School and Billings Senior High School from 1967 to 1999.

Leland also was a troop master for the Boy Scouts of America in Billings in the mid 1970's.

In October of 1976, the Montana Council of the Boy Scouts of America received a written account from an 11-year-old Scout who claimed Leland inappropriately touched him multiple times while the boy was trying to sleep in a tent during a scouting camping trip Leland chaperoned.

Local scout leadership documented when they banned Leland from participating in the Boy Scouts of America later that month.

In the written account of that meeting with Leland, a local scout official told him that resigning from his post would "save embarrassment on both your part and ours."

According to records, Leland complied and stepped down from the Boy Scouts within a week.

Following the resignation, the Montana Council petitioned a regional Boy Scouts office to have Leland placed in the "perversion files".

In written documentation, the regional office asks if Leland had been arrested and still maintained employment with School District 2.

Local leadership wrote a documented response which informed the regional office that Leland maintained his employment at School District 2 and that he was not arrested.

However, the response reveals that a group of parents complained to the school district superintendent with the information they had regarding the alleged assault.

School administration responded to the parents by telling them they had received previous complaints about Leland and that they would "keep and eye on him."

On Thursday, the day the Boy Scouts released the "perversion" files, Q2 has made a formal request to School District 2 to obtain any complaints filed against Leland during his period of employment with the district.

Q2 received a response that the district would comply by Montana's public record laws and provide the station with the requested documents.

However, the station has yet to receive those documents.

Q2 also contacted Edward Leland, who still lives in the Billings community, multiple times to provide him with an opportunity to share his perspective on this story-but he has not accepted the invitation.

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