A 79-year-old Annapolis man involved with the Boy Scouts for more than six decades, most recently as a Scoutmaster in an impoverished South Baltimore neighborhood, was in jail yesterday on charges that he took nude photographs of a 9-year-old girl.
Police said the photos were taken in a van parked at a Wal-Mart in Port Covington and were discovered when a clerk at a photo processing lab in Western Maryland alerted authorities.
FOR THE RECORD - An article yesterday about an Annapolis Boy Scout leader arrested in Baltimore on child pornography-related charges incorrectly stated he was a volunteer with the Girl Scouts. Stanley A. Taylor Sr. told people he was affiliated with the Girl Scouts, but the organization says he was not an approved volunteer.
The Sun regrets the error.
Stanley A. Taylor Sr. was charged with child pornography-related charges, sexual abuse of a minor and second-degree assault. A District Court judge ordered him held on $200,000 bail at the Baltimore City Detention Center, where he was last night.
Taylor had been organizing Scout troops in the city's Westport neighborhood and had been a well-known presence in the community, according to area residents. He had been a decorated member of the Boy Scouts for many years, involved in Scouting in Baltimore and Annapolis. He was also a volunteer with the Girl Scouts in Westport, according to police.
The Boy Scouts suspended Taylor from his paid position immediately after police informed them of the charges. Local Girl Scout organizations could not be reached for comment.
"We're like everyone else. ... We're shocked," said Chris Shelby, a director at the Baltimore Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. "I know Stan personally, and he's been a very active Scouter serving some of the low-income parts of Baltimore."
Shelby said that Boy Scout officials commissioned a background check on Taylor, as is standard policy, when he went on the payroll five or six years ago. He said nothing was found. Taylor does not have a criminal record, according to a check of Maryland court records.
Two relatives of Taylor declined to comment last night.
Police charging documents said that a worker at a Fujifilm processing center in Williamsport tipped off the Washington County Sheriff's Department to the photographs. The sheriff's department determined the photos -- a total of seven -- came from an Annapolis address and contacted Annapolis police.
An Annapolis police detective interviewed Taylor and the girl, who lives in Westport with her 33-year-old mother and siblings.
The girl told police that the photos were taken in a maroon 1997 Plymouth Voyager minivan that was parked in the Wal-Mart parking lot in the 2700 block of Port Covington Drive. Annapolis officers then referred the case to Baltimore police.
According to the court documents, Taylor told police that he took the photographs and did not know that he might have broken any laws. The court documents also said that he wrote an apology letter to the girl's mother.
The Sun is not identifying the girl or her mother because the girl may be the victim of a sex crime.
During an interview yesterday at their apartment, the girl's mother said she met Taylor several months ago when he came to her door and offered to register her daughter with the Girl Scouts. She said members of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts met at a local community center.
The girl said in an interview that Taylor took her shopping several times and bought her clothes and food. The girl and her mother live in a dilapidated public housing development near Westport Elementary School, a neighborhood rife with open-air drug dealing, and where dealers make little effort to hide their trade.
Taylor worked in this neighborhood as one of 90 leaders in the Boy Scout organization's citywide Scout Reach program. His responsibilities included starting and leading troops in the city's low-income neighborhoods, and he dealt with about 100 children a day, Shelby said.
There are about 5,000 Boy Scouts in Baltimore, and about half of them are in the Scout Reach program, he said.
Taylor attended a Youth Protection Training program in 1999, required of all Boy Scout workers, Shelby said. The program is meant to "teach people how to recognize child abuse and how to report it," Shelby said.
For his dedication to the Boy Scouts over the years, Taylor had garnered significant local attention in Scouting circles.
In October 1998, The Capital newspaper in Annapolis named him "volunteer of the week," noting in an article his extensive local efforts to organize Scouting groups.
Two years later, a Washington Post article profiled Taylor's efforts in organizing the Annapolis area's first Boy Scout troop targeting the Hispanic community.
According to the profile in the Post, Taylor joined the Boy Scouts when he was an 11-year-old in Barbados.