Clackamas County Circuit Judge Thomas J. Rastetter sentenced former Portland –area Eagle Scout Jacob MacKenzie Wittren, 19, to 12 ½ years in prison for sexually abusing Scout campers while on Boy Scout excursions in rural Clackamas County in Oregon.

Prior to sentencing, Wittren admitted to orally sodomizing boys ranging in age from 11-13 years of age on separate occasions in 2010.  In addition to these sexual abuse charges, Wittren faces similar charges in Washington and Multnomah Counties.  While these charges remain pending, a plea agreement was reached with Wittren that does not add time to the sentence handed down on Friday.

According to the Oregonian, “Deputy District Attorney Russell Amos said Wittren formerly served as a senior patrol leader on Boy Scout outings, expected to supervise younger scouts during activities and set a good example. He said Wittren is immature for his age but that a mental exam showed he was fit to face charges.” 

Even though Wittren was under the age of majority (18 years of age), Oregon’s Measure 11 allowed the justice system to try him as an adult. 

This case is particularly disturbing for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the number of victims and the relative youth of the offender.  One can only wonder if the Boy Scouts had stringently supervised the young Eagle Scout or followed their own 2-deep policy, would this tragedy have taken place?