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Scout leader sentenced to 8 years for assaulting boys

A former local Scout leader was sentenced to eight years in prison this afternoon for sexually assaulting three scouts.

Provincial court Judge Ray Wyant said Stuart Garret Young’s actions were "reprehensible, degrading and disgusting and abhorrent."

Court was told that Young, 40, was trusted and admired by the boys, and that he singled them out, grooming them to become his victims. Young had been a volunteer with a Southdale Scout troop.

The boys were subjected to a program Young had developed that they were told was to build up their self-confidence but instead the boys were "brainwashed" while Young subjected them to various sexual acts.

Young was convicted of sexual assault, sexual exploitation, voyeurism, and making and possessing child pornography.

Two of the boys were victimized when they were between the ages of 14 and 16 years. A third boy was subjected to Young’s bizarre program, which included stripping naked and texting him for permission to masturbate, between the ages of 14 and 16 and then subjected to sexual assaults when he turned 18.

Young was first arrested in August 2011, when one of the boys contacted another parent volunteer who contacted police. Young was released the same day and hours later attempted to kill himself by slashing his throat, wrists and thigh. He was taken to hospital in critical condition but released several days later.

Young tried to kill himself again at the end of October. He turned himself into police at the end of December as more charges were to be brought against him and has been in custody since then.

Young pleaded guilty to the charges in February. He had no prior criminal record.

The Crown asked for an 8-year sentence while the defence said a sentence of four to five years was more appropriate and consistent with sentences given to others convicted of similar crimes.

Young had led a group of girls and boys aged 14-17 years in a program known as Venturer Scouts, which promotes outdoor activities and community service. He had been a volunteer since 2002 and was recognized in 2006 with an award for his work. Scouts Canada suspended him when he was first arrested.

The sexual abuse of two of the victims took place in the basement of Young’s parents’ home, where he lived at the time. Nude photos of the boys were also taken.

Young, who sat shackled in the courtroom, broke down in tears when the crimes he committed were described to court.

Two of the boys sat through the sentencing hearing. Several members of Young’s family were also in court.

Images were shown to Wyant that police had found on Young’s computer, dating back to 2003, of young boys posing in the nude and engaging in sexual acts with each other.

The sexual assaults occurred between 2008 and 2011.

Court was told that Young had been sexually abused when he was 12 by a Scout leader but never told anyone.

Wyant said he accepted that Young was remorseful and himself a victim but added that did not excuse what he had done to the three boys that trusted him.

"You stole the innocence of these three boys and forever changed their lives," Wyant said. "You can never give back what you stole ….You controlled them, humiliated them, groomed them, destroyed them."

Wyant described Young as a sexual offender with "a fetish for young boys," and added he doubted he would ever be cured.

Before he was sentenced, Young read a statement to the court, describing his actions as unleashing "a shockwave of destruction, betrayal and pain," and apologized.

Young’s prison time will be reduced by the 15.5 months he had served in custody awaiting sentencing.

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