An Exeter man and former assistant Catholic chaplain at Camp Yawgoog Boy Scout summer camp in Hopkinton has been sentenced to serve 40 years in state prison for the sexual assault of six young men between 1981 and 2019.
Superior Court Judge Melanie Wilk Thunberg on Thursday sentenced the man, 76-year-old James Glawson, to serve 60 years at the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston, with 40 years to serve and the balance suspended with completion of a probation period. Court records show Glawson will also be required to register as a sex offender, must complete sex offender counseling and is subject to community supervision. He was also issued a no-contact order preventing him from contacting victims.
The sentencing came after Glawson agreed to enter a plea of nolo contendere, or no contest, to 11 separate counts of first-degree sexual assault last year.
“The defendant’s criminal conduct here, over a long period of time and involving multiple sexual assaults against multiple victims, warrants the long sentence imposed by the court,” said Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Neronha. “I am thankful for the courage of the victims in coming forward and commend the outstanding work of the Rhode Island State Police in this case.”
The 76-year-old Glawson, who was affiliated with the Scouts from 1980 until 2018, was arrested in February 2019 and charged with the sexual assault of five victims ranging from 10 to 16 years old. Each of the instances were believed to have occurred at Glawson’s home while he was a Scout leader, court documents show, and police records indicate that each victim was connected to Boy Scout groups in Rhode Island.
His most recent victim, in 2019, was a developmentally disabled man who was known to him.
Rhode Island State Police began their investigation of Glawson in January 2019 following reports from staff at a Rhode Island group home of inappropriate contact between Glawson and an 18-year-old resident at the home. The resident told detectives he was victimized by Glawson multiple times throughout the years.
Court documents said detectives questioned Glawson, who admitted that he had sexually assaulted the developmentally disabled victim. Glawson also admitted that he had victimized several other young men while a Scout leader during the 1980s. During further investigation, five victims came forward and pressed charges against Glawson. Glawson’s illegal conduct occurred as far back as 1981, and as recently as 2019.
“The tragic facts of this case will forever impact the victims and their families,” said Col. James M. Manni, superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and director of the Department of Public Safety. “I commend the partnership between the Rhode Island Office of the Attorney General and our detectives who worked tirelessly to ensure justice was served.”