Judge sentences ex-Scout leader who abused boy

October 31, 2001|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A former assistant Scoutmaster was sentenced yesterday to 18 months under house arrest for molesting a member of the Boy Scout troop he helped run in Linthicum.

Matthew B. Showalter, 25, of Glen Burnie said nothing in the brief proceeding before Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Ronald A. Silkworth. Showalter's lawyer, Mark A. Lechowicz, asked for probation and no prison time, saying that Showalter's abuse of the Scout stemmed from a childhood trauma in Showalter's life.

A relative of the boy described the child as a "hero for protecting other kids in the neighborhood" by having the courage to report Showalter. He asked Silkworth to incarcerate Showalter, saying that the boy stood up in the face of an adult who was in a position of authority and trust.

The Sun does not identify victims of sex crimes.

Silkworth sentenced Showalter to 10 years in prison, with all but 18 months on house arrest suspended, followed by five years of supervised probation. He ordered Showalter to register with the state as a sex offender and to continue therapy.

Assistant State's Attorney Frank Ragione said he had mixed feelings about the sentence, which he called tough in comparison with many child-abuse sentences. Ragione said there are no other charges against Showalter involving other children.

The boy was abused almost weekly during a two-year period at Scout meetings at St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic Church. He told his mother about the molestation after seeing a tape on reporting child abuse at a Scout meeting.

Showalter was arrested in April.

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