Genesee County scout leader accused of sexually abusing campers in Northern NY


PIERCEFIELD, N.Y. (WROC) — Officials with the New York State Police say an Elba man is in the St. Lawrence County Jail after being accused of sexually abusing several victims at a Boy Scout camp in Northern New York.

Boy Scout Leader Ronald Rowcliffe, 55, is charged with sexual abuse, forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child. Bail for Rowcliffe is set at $10,000 cash.

State Police say the alleged victims are between 12 and 14 years old and were attending the Massawepie Boy Scout Camp in Piercefield, New York between 2017 and 2019 when the alleged abuse happened.

According to court documents, the victims claim much of the unwanted sexual contact took place at the camp’s shotgun range. They say Rowcliffe would tell the boys he was helping them adjust their stance but would instead touch them inappropriately.

Seneca Waterways Council Scout Executive/CEO, Stephen Hoitt released a statement Friday morning regarding the charges, saying in part:

Early in our summer camp season Scouts reported allegations of inappropriate actions by one of our staff members.  We immediately terminated the camp staff employee in question, turned the issue over to investigators who we are fully cooperating with,  and took immediate action to prohibit the accused individual from any further participation in the Scouting program.

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