1 Fort Lauderdale
News & Reviews
A district executive with the Boy Scouts of America in central Florida has been arrested on sexual battery and molestation charges.
John Bruce Larsen, 52, was arrested Friday on two counts of sexual battery on a person under 12, two counts of sexual battery on a child 12 or older, and four counts of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child under 12, Volusia County jail records showed.
A heavily redacted arrest report by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office detailed some the allegations against Larsen, but doesn’t say whether the alleged victims were scouts, WESH reported.
The report said deputies began investigating in December when three juveniles said they were inappropriately touched repeatedly by Larsen for several years.
One victim’s mother told detectives that her son said Larsen had performed sexual acts on him since he was around 8 years old, the report said.
The mother’s other son also said Larsen had inappropriately touched him, the report said.
A third alleged victim is friends with the two other alleged victims and had described uncomfortable encounters with Larsen, the report said. When he’d told Larsen to stop, Larsen ignored and continued, the report said.
The report said Larsen works with children daily and goes to schools to recruit children to join the boy scouts.
“The actions alleged to have been committed by John Larsen are reprehensible and opposed to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America stands,” Eric Magendatz, executive and CEO of the Central Florida Council, Boy Scouts of America, said in a statement. “Upon learning of these allegations and his arrest, we took immediate action to prohibit him from participation in Scouting.”
Sheriff’s office officials said detectives believe there could be more victims because of the role Larsen held in the community.
The investigation remains active and ongoing, officials said.