The luster was long gone from Hollywood's star when, in the mid-1970s, the first Law Enforcement Explorer Girls (or LEEGS, as they were more commonly known at the time) appeared in the Los Angeles Police Department's rundown Tinseltown outpost. A couple dozen strong, they were among the first girls allowed into Explorers, a Boy Scouts career-preparation program dating to the 1940s. The LEEGS trailed cops as they patrolled the neon-lit expanses of porn shops, massage parlors and peepshows on their beats. They occasionally helped control event crowds and assisted with station-house desk work.

As a token of appreciation, the Hollywood cops began taking the Explorer girls, most of them fifteen and sixteen years old, on overnight weekend camping trips. The tradition endured for more than two years, until the autumn of 1976, when one of the girls, uncomfortable with the campsite activities, complained to department higher-ups. The camping trips, she reported, were little more than orgies.

When the news broke, the task of handling the ensuing media onslaught fell to an up-and-coming deputy chief named Daryl Gates, who later gained notoriety as the unsympathetic public face of the LAPD during the Rodney King affair. He was quick to dismiss the severity of what had occurred among his Hollywood cops and the girls they were tasked with mentoring. First of all, he told a scrum of reporters, this was not a sex scandal: "There was no rape, no seduction," he said. "There was a lot of agreement."

Brandon Greenhill admitted to having sex with Explorer “Natalie,” making him one of up to seven Bremerton, Washington, police officers accused of having an inappropriate relationship with the girl.
Brandon Greenhill admitted to having sex with Explorer “Natalie,” making him one of up to seven Bremerton, Washington, police officers accused of having an inappropriate relationship with the girl.
University of Nebraska professor Samuel Walker was the first to publicize the cops-having-sex-with-Explorers phenomenon in a paper he co-authored in 2003.
University of Nebraska professor Samuel Walker was the first to publicize the cops-having-sex-with-Explorers phenomenon in a paper he co-authored in 2003.

Ultimately, it was found that at least six cops had had sex with at least sixteen teenage Explorers. While some officers involved were fired, others remained in their jobs. The first publicly known case of its kind, it remains among the largest in terms of the number of cops and Explorers involved. But it wouldn't be the last.

Over the next decade, a handful of new cases would come to light, all in California. But though an underage Signal Hill Police Department Explorer told of having sex with four officers who'd mentored her over three years ending in 1982, and six sheriff's deputies were fired for sleeping with the same seventeen-year-old girl in Victorville, California, two years later, the Boy Scouts remained untouched by the fallout.

That would grow more difficult in 1987. That February, Lt. Robert Padilla of the Long Beach, California, Police Department met a sixteen-year-old Explorer while she was on desk duty. The middle-aged lieutenant and the teenager hit it off, and he invited her to his house. Twice that month, they had sex. In March, after their tryst had been exposed, Padilla was fired from his job, arrested and eventually placed on probation.

Chastened, the department put in place a set of rules governing the Explorer program. They forbade fraternization between police officers and Explorers, barred female Explorers from riding along with male officers, placed limits on the frequency with which Explorers were allowed to ride along and put a higher-up in charge of overseeing ride-along pairings. As the department got its house in order, the Boy Scouts emphasized the anomalous nature of what had happened.

"This is an isolated incident," Kurt Weaver, Scout Executive of the Long Beach Area Council of the Boy Scouts, told a reporter at the time — though in fact it was one of three such incidents that had come to light in a three-month period, all in Southern California.

In January 1987, Sgt. Robert Kredel, in charge of the Irvine PD's Explorer program, resigned after being accused of molesting a fifteen-year-old boy during an Explorer camping trip the previous fall, reportedly leaving the boy suicidal. Two months later, Officer Timothy Campbell of the Simi Valley PD was charged with sexually assaulting a sixteen-year-old female Explorer. Amid assertions that two other Simi Valley officers had also had sex with the girl — including a detective specializing in sex crimes and child-abuse cases, who was soon fired — the Simi Valley PD considered enacting rules similar to those in Long Beach.

Meanwhile, Hollis Spindle, a Boy Scout executive in Ventura County, provided insight into his organization's approach to such incidents. "This rarely happens, so we have no guidelines," he told the Los Angeles Times. "We can't have a policy that people will not meet and talk with each other when they are not in an Explorer activity. We can't stop people from being people."

In 2003, Samuel Walker, a professor at the University of Nebraska and a leading scholar on police misconduct, was researching a follow-up to a report he'd published a year earlier. In "Driving While Female," Walker had shed light on the phenomenon of police officers sexually harassing and assaulting women they'd pulled over for traffic infractions. Walker reported discovering an average of nearly twenty cases per year of police officers doing everything from forcing women to walk home in their underwear to raping them in their cars after pulling them over. His findings, he said, were "clearly the tip of the iceberg."

As Walker scoured the Internet to prepare an update, he stumbled upon a different trend: police officers sexually assaulting Explorers. "Just by changing around the search terms, we were able to find a large number of these cases," he says.

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16 comments
Happy_Happy_Happy_90
Happy_Happy_Happy_90

........I Саn`t bеlеivе...Мy friеnd`s sistеr mакеs 78/hr оn thе intеrnеt. Shе hаs bееn unеmрlоуеd fоr 11 mоnths but lаst mоnth hеr incоmе wаs 7985$ јust wоrкing оn thе РС fоr а fеw hоurs. Read on this wеbsitе....... C a s h M a n y . c о m

Brad Hicks
Brad Hicks

Any organization that allows adults unsupervised access to other people's minor children, under any circumstance, is just setting itself up for this kind of trouble; not because such setups encourage such behavior, but because if someone prone to such behavior gets into such an organization, there is nothing stopping them, and little or no chance of catching them. Doesn't matter if it's cops, teachers, doctors, clergy, anybody: if they're going to be with kids, they need to not be alone with them. That there are any organizations left that don't realize this and do something about it, after several decades' worth of scandals? That there are any organizations left who think "it can't happen here, because none of our people would do that"? Just blows my mind.

Wesley Mcgranor
Wesley Mcgranor

Such (and more) delinquency seems to be standard in policing. The test great-grandfather had, must be impassable for these postmodern types. Heres a tip, at least make marriage a part of such a ritual.

CHUCK ZITO
CHUCK ZITO

men perverts use that clean cut short haired yuppie office geek look to fool kids and parents into thinking they are good guys and can be trusted. you ever notice that little detail? its all a con job so dont fall for it parents or you kids. wise up to clean cut perverts and their ways.

CHUCK ZITO
CHUCK ZITO

Blame Satan 666 the Devil. 666 he is behind all evil sin. he use humans as his hand puppets and this is another one of the results of that. is that simple enough for ya?

Goodscouter
Goodscouter

It is unfortunate that in large youth organizations, like in the BSA and Learning for Life, that a few bad apples pop up, take advantage of the situation, and make the reputation of these two enriching programs look evil where the majority of good volunteers really make it a positive growth experience for teenagers. It is interesting how dated some of the stories are. With current youth protection standards, ride alongs have to consist of the same gender participants. That some departments outside of the Saint Louis area let male leaders take out female Explorers just floors me. This should serve as a wake up call to departments to review the rules and training annually and keep the program on the up and up for the youth. The national Learning for Life office does conduct one heck of a great Law Enforcement Conference for 4,000 Explorers bi-annually.

check engine
check engine

Seems Rock Hill Coed Post 544 was1st not LA.Started about 1971, with first campout at Mid-America Wentzville SCCA race.By 1976 was probably world largest, as general interest with no police.Parties much more fun outdoors in large groups, rather than in back seats

Wolfinstl
Wolfinstl

"...mostly leaving police departments to police themselves". Move along citizen, nothing to see here.

smash44
smash44

Isn't it nice to now the Good Ole Police Unions will see to it they all receive their taxpayer-provided pensions -- for rapists.

MandoMadMan
MandoMadMan

Although I like and respect the policemen I know - like my friend says, "There are scoundrels in every line of work."

Sexually abusing teens - that's pretty low.

Paythepriceasyougo
Paythepriceasyougo

Some of these stories would be good for Riverfront Times Crap like a Mexican.

Boy Scout Supporter
Boy Scout Supporter

amazing that this article tries to place a disproportionate blame on the scouting program

when the explorers was spun off, due to 'demands' to be more 'inclusive of girls, many of the issues the boy scouts were dealing with previously were being addressed, like no one-on-one contact (due to pedophiles searching out boys in the scouts) and requiring certain training and background checks (ensuring no predators allowed in a position of leadership)...as well as no homosexuals

these positions, at the time, were branded as homophobic and religiously driven...and many shunned the boy scout organization...even to this day...

and when an explorer scout chose the law enforcement path, the scouting organization still had the charter PD fill out the necessary paperwork and required training...

and they were police officers, right?

what else would you want the scouts to do?

maybe the should audit every public school, since we all know date rape is occuring on a monthly basis in the bathroom stalls, right?

or have all the students take a drug test randomly throughout the year, because we know many of them are experimenting with drugs?

sooner or later, you have to have faith that an organization run by adults has the best interests of kids in mind...

if not, lock your kids up in a closet...

u can keep kids safe
u can keep kids safe

It amazes me that some are still surprised when they hear about stuff like this. No one in society is "above" committing acts of pedophilia and underage sexual assault including cops. Time and again the media shows that those people we feel should be most trustworthy - coaches, police, politicians, teachers, doctors, etc. - are capable of deviant sexual behavior with children.

This story is another example of why there should always be increased scrutiny of anyone anytime children are involved. If something seems suspect than it probably is. Never just assume things are okay because of the trust placed in that person or the length of time they've been doing their job.

Miker54
Miker54

Convict, jail and tatoo "Child Molester" on offender's forehead and let nature run it's course.

CHUCK ZITO
CHUCK ZITO

you should read the cops gone bad website. cops are more evil and criminal now days than the so called bad guys they chase.

 
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