BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA ALSO NAMED AS DEFENDANT IN SEXUAL ABUSE SUIT
Former S.C. Fourth Circuit Solicitor Jay Hodge (above, right) has been accused of molesting two young boys in his role as a Boy Scout leader – a lawsuit that our sources say represents the “first chapter in the unmasking of a monster.”
According to the lawsuit, Hodge and another Scout leader – William Hebard – used their positions of “trust and authority” with the Boy Scouts to get young boys to “engage in various sexual acts” with them in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Hodge in particular is accused of engaging in “fondling, masturbation and oral sex” with two boys – both of whom are now in their forties. At least one of the victims alleges that Hodge and Hebard abused other boys during this same time period.
Our sources on the ground in Cheraw, S.C. say that “many more” victims could step forward – as Hodge’s involvement with Boy Scouts continued through early 2008.
Reached for comment at his law office this weekend, Hodge called the allegations against him “a disgusting lie.”
“Any allegation against me involving any inappropriate contact with any child is absolutely false,” Hodge told FITS “I’ve spent my whole life helping children.”
Hodge claims the allegations against him are politically motivated.
The plaintiffs in the case are also suing the Boy Scouts of America for negligence and fraud, alleging that the organization failed to exclude Hebard and Hodge from scouting activities “after learning of (their) molestation of Scouts.” Hebard died in 2007, but his estate is named as a defendant.
The lawsuit was filed this week in Chesterfield County, where Hodge served as top prosecutor for twelve years from 1997-2009.
Hodge stepped down as Fourth Circuit Solicitor in January of 2009. He later assumed an assistant solicitor’s post in his old office, but was forced to resign from that position five months later as a result of a federal investigation into the alleged misappropriation of public funds from his office.
Prior to that scandal breaking, Hodge was a widely respected philanthropist and Boy Scout leader from the Pee Dee region of the state who aided victims of domestic violence through his charity, Mercy Ministries. During the course of our investigation into Hodge’s many scandals, however, FITS uncovered numerous seedy details which strongly suggested that Hodge wasn’t the upstanding individual he claimed to be.
Among those details? His alleged involvement in a November 2006 homosexual rest area bust straight out of the movie There’s Something About Mary – as well as an alleged homosexual relationship with a subordinate.
Hodge denies both of those allegations, although the lawsuit filed against him this week alleges that a search of his subordinate’s computer turned up “pornographic images of older gay men.”
Another search “found images of young boys swimming, horseback riding, at camp on Hodge’s computer.”
“There were also pornographic images of males who either were adults made to look adolescent or adolescents made to look somewhat more mature,” the suit alleges.
Why didn’t any of this come to light earlier?
“Hodge is reportedly a very powerful political figure in South Carolina who is connected to many levels of politicians,” an evaluation of one of Hodge’s alleged victims notes. “Although (the victim) has been contacted by the FBI, Chief of the Supreme Court, Assistant Attorney General, his State Senator, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, no action has been taken against Hodge.”
Additionally, one of the victim’s claims that his brother lost his job as a result of his decision to seek out legal counsel.
Stay tuned to FITS for more updates on this story … in the meantime, you can access the complaint against Hodge (and supporting documentation) by clicking on the links below.