Boy Scouts call leader arrested in SC online predator sting operation 'abhorrent', ban him from programs
RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) - A former Midlands Boy Scout leader has been called "abhorrent" by the organization after he was named as one of 38 people arrested in an online predator operation led by the Richland County Sheriff's Department.
Heath Mills was arrested on two counts of solicitation of minor during "Operation Full Armor," Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott announced Thursday.
Mills was identified as a troop leader in Lexington County.
David Angle, assistant south executive/CEO of the Indan Waters Council of the Boy Scouts released a statement to WIS, saying Mills has been banned from participating in any scout-related activities.
The full statement says:
This individual's behavior is abhorrent and runs counter to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America stands. Upon learning of these reports, we took immediate action to remove this individual and prohibit him from any future participation in our programs.
Nothing is more important than the safety of our youth members. We seek to prevent child abuse through comprehensive policies and procedures to serve as barriers to abuse. These include a thorough screening process for adult leaders and staff, criminal background checks, requiring two or more adult leaders be present with youth at all times during Scouting activities, and the prompt mandatory reporting of any allegation or suspicion of abuse.
As this matter is ongoing, please direct questions to the Richland County Sheriff's Office. Or, for more information about the BSA's youth protection policies, please visit bsayouthprotection.org.
In all, 38 people, including a colonel stationed at Fort Jackson arrested for solicitation, were arrested on charges varying from prostitution to child solicitation.
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