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AG Nessel MSP Announce First Charges Filed in Boy Scouts of America Investigation

LANSING - After months of reviewing thousands of Boy Scouts of America (BSA) civil claims with a Michigan connection, today Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Michigan State Police (MSP) Director Col. Joe Gasper are announcing the first criminal charges in the ongoing investigation.  

Mark Chapman, 51, of New York, is charged in the 39th District Court in Macomb County with the following: 

  • eight counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC); and 
  • two counts of first-degree CSC. 

The charges stem from alleged abuse against two victims. At the time, Chapman was involved in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the BSA.

The first case, which accounts for six of the second-degree CSC charges, stems from alleged abuse that began in 2000 around the time the victim was 13 or 14 and continued until he was 17 years old and a senior in high school.  The incidents occurred at the victim's father's house, at Chapman's house, and at the local church. 

The second case, which accounts for both counts of first-degree CSC and two remaining counts of second-degree CSC, was a family member around 11-years-old when the alleged abuse by Chapman began.  The abuse went on for years and often revolved around times that were designated as special opportunities for Chapman to spend time with the boy. 

The statute of limitations for first-degree CSC has changed over the years from a six-year limit to no limit.  However, in any case, when a suspect leaves the State of Michigan and no longer resides here, the statute of limitations stops. In this case, the statute stopped running when Chapman left Michigan to live in New York 2007. 

"It remains imperative that sexual predators be held accountable, and one of my top priorities remains securing justice for survivors of abuse," Nessel said. "We appreciate our partnership with MSP to reach this point in this important investigation into the Boy Scouts of America. These charges are only the beginning." 

"We're pleased to partner with the Attorney General's office on this important investigation," MSP Director Col. Joe Gasper said. "We continue to stand ready to listen to survivors and investigate any allegations that are made. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the investigation hotline at 844-324-3374." 

The joint investigation was announced at the beginning of June between the Michigan Department of Attorney General and MSP. 

In addition to the first case being filed, the Department is examining a total of 5,000 claims sent from BSA national for review. Currently, a completed review of 550 claims resulted in roughly 60 inquiries sent to MSP for further investigation. The claim review process remains ongoing. 

If you have information about the Boy Scouts of America that you think would help, please call the investigation tip line at 844-324-3374 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tips can be left anonymously.  

Portions of this project are funded in part by Grant No. WE AX 0030 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. 

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Please note:  A criminal charge is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.  The Department does not provide booking photos.