Royal Rangers Sexual Abuse Allegations: Who’s Affected?
Did you or a loved one experience sexual abuse while participating in a Royal Rangers youth program?
Attorneys are investigating sexual abuse claims for anyone who was sexually abused while participating in a Royal Rangers program in California, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, or Pennsylvania.
In November 2020, the Pennsylvania attorney general charged a local county judge, who was a Royal Rangers Commander, with sexually abusing a 12-year-old-boy who participated in the program.
Six Royal Rangers members filed a lawsuit in Oregon claiming that they were sexually abused as children by Royal Rangers leaders at a church in Oregon.
Attorneys working with Top Class Actions are looking to help victims of sexual abuse as a member of a Royal Rangers program.
Royal Rangers Sexual Abuse Allegations
Pennsylvania Perry County District Judge Michael Schechterly was charged in November 2020 with sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy, according to the Patriot-News.
Schechterly — who was known as “Commander Mike” in the Royal Rangers program at his church, Newport Assembly of God — allegedly attacked the boy in 2015 while he was at Schechterly’s home, the Patriot-News reported. On another occasion, Schechterly allegedly touched himself inappropriately in front of the child.
According to witnesses, Schechterly regularly brought children to his home and his office, including children he knew through the Royal Rangers program.
During questioning by police, Schechterly, 58, admitted to being addicted to pornography and masturbation, the Patriot-News reported.
He admitted to inappropriately touching a 12-year-old boy with special needs as the two were watching TV at Schechterly’s home in 2015, according to police report.
Schechterly apparently had trouble naming the specific victim because “there have been so many boys it was difficult to recall,” the affidavit noted.
A search of Schechterly’s home turned up pornographic videos of young female subjects seemingly being abused or assaulted.
Schechterly continued to bring children into his office during the spring of 2020, even during the COVID-19 lockdown, according to the affidavit.
He confirmed to police that he masturbated several times per day, sometimes at his office, and held sleepovers with boys from the Royal Rangers program, also at his office.
Prior to his position as a district judge, Schechterly was a teacher for three years in Halifax, spent one year as a long-term substitute, and about eight years at the former Perry Christian Academy, according to the affidavit. After teaching, he enrolled in law school.
This is not the first time that Royal Rangers leaders have been accused of sexual abuse.
Other Royal Rangers Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
A group of six men in Oregon filed a lawsuit against Royal Rangers and an Assemblies of God church in 2018 alleging that they suffered sexual abuse in the 1980s at the hands of Royal Rangers leaders, the Albany Democrat-Herald reported.
The men alleged in their lawsuit that there was a failure on the part of the church and the Royal Rangers organizations to investigate and report sexual abuse claims against Royal Rangers leaders.
The Royal Rangers faced similar allegations in 2016, the Springfield News-Leader reported.
What Is Royal Rangers?
Royal Rangers is an activity-based small group ministry for boys in kindergarten through 12th grade, according to the organization’s website.
The group’s goal is to “evangelize, equip and empower the next generation of Christlike men and lifelong servant leaders.”
Local church chapters of Royal Rangers are called “outposts.” Each group bases its activities on the specific interests and abilities of the boys in that group.
Royal Rangers Addresses Sexual Abuse In Churches
The Royal Rangers has a full page on its website dedicated to information on the steps churches can take to reduce the risk of child molestation taking place on their premises during church activities.
Among the program’s recommendations is a screening process that includes a written application and interview, as well as a recommendation that the church obtains references from other institutions where the applicant worked with minors.
Royal Rangers also encourages churches to restrict volunteer eligibility to church members who are in good standing for a minimum of six months.
In addition, the organization recommends a “two adult policy” to ensure no child is ever left alone with one adult, as well as having legal counsel periodically review church policy.
Join a Free Royal Rangers Class Action Lawsuit Investigation
If you or your child were sexually abused while participating in the Royal Rangers program in California, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, or Pennsylvania, there is legal recourse available.
Fill out the free form on this page to see if you qualify.
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