Boy Scout rape survivors seek change in Ohio law

Eric Palmer stands near his office on campus at the University of Cincinnati on Thursday, Sept.  1, 2022. Palmer, who survived abuse during his time as a Boy Scout, is lobbying for legislation that would allow survivors to recover the full amount owed.  they are in a state bankruptcy settlement, instead of only the percentage allowed under state law.

David DeLapa first teamed up with his teacher and Boy Scout Master on World War II memorials.

The teacher brought various things to the class to be seen and told, catching the attention of the little boy who was playing War games and watching TV shows about war. DeLapa would go to his teacher’s desk and ask to see the hats and swords.

Before long, their relationship was flawless. DeLapa said his teacher would touch him after class and spank him because of what he had done wrong – or just for fun. Rowing turned into fun. The bullying extended beyond the school day and into the activities of an Akron-area Boy Scout group led by a teacher. At camp, DeLapa said, his teacher and scoutmaster sexually assaulted him.

The military commander pleaded guilty in 1979 to molesting a 10-year-old child. When DeLapa’s mother called to talk about this story in the newspaper, she felt that she knew something, but she couldn’t say it. She even pretended to be shocked, telling him that the man was kind to her at school.

BEFORE:The Boy Scouts plans to file for bankruptcy, marking the end of the nation’s largest sexual harassment scandal

BREAKING:The USA TODAY story is an investigation into the sexual abuse of children accused of sexual battery

After the call, DeLapa jumped into his Ford Pinto and drove into the Nevada desert until he reached the foot of a mountain. He climbed it with every intention of jumping to his death. But watching the sun set, he heard God’s voice telling him to turn around and go home.

So he said.

“When you’re incarcerated for two years … you lose a lot of emotions,” said DeLapa, of Tallmadge. “You get mad at life. You hate life. You think about killing yourself. There’s such a darkness, and then you get away from it. You don’t do what you used to do.”


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