was a Mormon church member and scout leader in Idaho; confessed to sexually abusing 24 boys; pleaded guilty to molesting two boys; sentenced to 150 days in prison and 15 years of probation; local LDS church coverup alleged; one of Stowell's victims, Adam Steed, came forward, spurring lawsuits against the Mormon church and the BSA

Case Summary

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Brad Stowell was a Mormon missionary and church member who molested multiple boys.

While on his LDS mission to Alaska, Stowell reportedly confessed to molesting a boy.

This case arose in 1988 in Blackfoot, Idaho.

LDS church member Brad Stowell “had testified under oath that from 1988-2007 he molested at least 24
boys, many of them Scout campers. Another victim was 6 years old. Scout leaders testified they received warnings but went ahead and hired Stowell.”

The following is verbatim from:

“Perpetrator: Stowell, Brad – Mormon

Place: Idaho Falls

Troop & Location: Grand Teton Council – Camp Little Lemhi, Chubbuck, ID

Years in BSA: No IV File, Scouting 1990-1990’s

Description/Convictions:

1988 admits to molesting a 6 yr. old, sent to LDS social services for counseling. Hired again
at the same camp in 1989-97. Repeated warnings to the church and scouts were ignored.
Arrested in 1997 for child sex abuse while he was at the camp. Post Register – Zuckerman

Evidence of LDS Knowledge:

1988 Stowell confesses to LDS Bishop. Post Register Article – Peter Zuckerman

Brad Stowell in the News:

More Pedophile Cased Emerge With Scout Camp Connections

Scout case ‘not found’ – Court records show fourth pedophile led several Boy Scout outings

Timeline for Bradley Grant Stowell:

Born 5/1972 SSN Issued in Idaho

1988

Stowell admits to the police, his mother, and the LDS Bishop that he had abused a 6
yr. old neighbor. (Stowell would have been 16.) He was sent to the LDS Social
Services for counseling and the Bishop said he was cured. (Post Register and court
testimony.)

1988

Stowell was hired to teach first aid at Camp Little Lemhi – Grand Teton Council.

(Post Register and court documents.)

1989

Stowell was hired as waterfront instructor at Camp Little Lemhi. (Post Register and
court documents.)

1990

Stowell was re-hired at Camp Little Lemhi. (Post Register and court documents.)

1991

Stowell was hired as assistant aquatics director at Camp Little Lemhi. (Post Register
and court documents.)

Richard Scarborough learned from Stowell’s church leader that Stowell had molested
a neighborhood boy. (Post Register and court documents.)

Richard Scarborough related to Bradford Allen (Scout Executive, Tendoi Council) that
Stowell had engaged in inappropriate relations with a young boy and Stowell should
not be working with BSA or at Camp Little Lemhi. (Post Register and court
documents.)

Richard Scarborough contacted BSA’s western regional director about Stowell’s
inappropriate actions with the young neighborhood boy. (Court documents.)

1991

Richard Scarborough sent a letter to BSA’s national office in Irving, Texas warning
them of Stowell’s inappropriate conduct with the young neighborhood boy. (Post
Register and court documents.)

1992-1993

LDS Church sends Stowell on a mission to Alaska, where, he confessed under oath,
he molested at least one child. (Post Register.verbatim from Pedophiles at Scout
Camp by Peter Zuckerman-STOWELL BRAD 1 .pdf)

1993

Stowell’s mother joins the Grand Teton Council Executive Board after spending 14
years as a Cub Scout leader.

1/14/94

Richard Scarborough writes at letter to LDS President Ezra Taft to tell him that the

local leaders are ignoring the warning of a pedophile (Stowell) in the LDS Scout
Troop. (Post Register.)

4/1994

Three members of the Northwest Area Presidency of the LDS church signed a letter
to Richard Scarborough saying the allegation was reported to the Idaho Department
of Health and Welfare, an investigation was made, and “it was determined the nature
of the allegations warranted no further action.” (Post Register.)

1995

Stowell is hired as aquatics director at Camp Little Lemhi by Jim Summers (Post
Register and court documents.)

1995

Carol Scarborough warns Jim Summers of Stowell’s inappropriate conduct with a
neighborhood boy. Jim Summers reports the warning to Richard Snow and is told it
is fine to keep Stowell on staff at Camp Little Lemhi without any restrictions. (Post
Register and court documents.)

May 1995

C. Hart Bullock, area director of BSA, received a report that Stowell had engaged in
inappropriate conduct with a neighborhood boy. C. Hart Bullock turns info over to
Bradford Allen who checked with Stowell’s bishop. Allen is told by at least one
bishop that there was such an incident. Allen questioned Stowell about the incident
just prior to Scout camp starting. (Post Register and court documents.)

1996

Stowell is promoted to Programs Director at Camp Little Lemhi by Robert Fawcett,
Camp Director. (Post Register and court documents.)

6/96

Robert Fawcett warns Stowell about being alone with and touching the boys too
much. (Post Register.)

1997

Stowell is re-hired as programs director at Camp Little Lemhi

6/97

Elias Lopez, Camp Director, warns Stowell about being alone with the boys. (Post
Register.)

1997

Stowell had a girlfriend named “Amy.” (Apology letters to victims. Court documents.)
7/11/97

Stowell is arrested at Camp Little Lemhi for child sex abuse.

12/3/1997

Stowell sentenced to five months in jail, plus 15 years probation. (Waiting for court
documents from Bonneville County.)

11/30/99

Stowell admits to molesting 24 boys. (Post Register.)

6/19/2002

Stowell requests early probation termination. (Court records.)

3/30/2005

Report of Probation Violation. (Court records.)

4/25/2005

Judgment and Commitment on Conviction of Probation Violation. (Court records.)

2008

Released from prison (News report, KSL.)

10/23/2008

Five weeks after being released, was back behind bars for violating parole. (News
report, KSL.)

June 13, 2011

Released from prison. (KSL.)

5/2013

Lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. Registered Sex Offender. (Background check).
STOWELL-Brad Stowell 3.pdf

“We grew up always told that you’ll follow exactly what your Church leaders teach you, and if you don’t do it, you could lose everything,” laments Adam Steed, visibly shaking, in Church and the Fourth Estate. “We were taught that if a Church leader does something wrong, you’re supposed to follow them anyway and that God would take care of it.”

Steed, the Mormon subject of Brian Knappenberger’s documentary short that premiered at Sundance, took the road all-too-rarely traveled: he spoke out. At age 14, Steed was sexually abused by his Church mentor turned Scout leader, 24-year-old Brad Stowell, at Boy Scout camp.
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The serial abuse happened at Little Lemhi, a camp that lies on the Snake River in Swan Valley, Idaho. In the film, Steed tearfully opens up about how Stowell preyed on him as a youngster, subjecting him to acts that, as a Mormon, he’d “saved his whole life for.”

After Steed reported Stowell to camp leadership, who brushed him off, he spoke with his superiors, who told him to remain silent. So, in a remarkably brave move for a scared teenager, he went to the police.

I’m seated across from Steed and Knappenberger in a hotel in Park City, Utah, where the film made its debut. And Steed is still haunted by the events of his past, tearing up at regular intervals whilst recounting his harrowing story.

“I can tell you directly what I know: in a camp where I’m being sexually abused by a man, and he’s abusing other kids, there was an entire subculture of ‘it’s OK,’ and when it wasn’t OK, I tried to get them to turn him in,” Steed recalls. “They called their leaders, and they talked to me on the phone, and they tried to get me to not come forward, not talk about it, make me promise I wouldn’t tell my parents, and make me feel guilty that I’d destroy all the good in the organizations if I came forward.”

“We’re talking about the president of the Grand Teton Scout Council, Kim Hansen, and Brad Allen, who was the liaison for Scouting for the entire Mormon Church,” he adds. “At that level, these people are on the phone with a 14-year-old who’s being actively sexually abused, guilting him and shaming him. And during the rest of that week, I know that this man continued to sexually abuse other boys.”

After Stowell reached a puzzling settlement agreement, sentenced to just one week in prison for each of the two-dozen boys he confessed to molesting, a county judge made another unusual move, issuing an order to remove the case from the public record.

Enter Peter Zuckerman, a reporter for Idaho Falls’ Post Register newspaper. Upon receiving a tip about a missing court case, he uncovered the court record, which revealed that Stowell had been accused of abuse by dozens of people at Scout camp. The court record also revealed that Stowell had confessed his pedophilic acts to an LDS bishop who sent him to counseling, and later claimed he was “cured.” Then, when a Scout leader asked him about Stowell, the bishop told him he saw no reason why Stowell shouldn’t be a Scout leader. You see, many saw the Boy Scouts as an arm of the Mormon Church, and many involved in the Boy Scouts—and this scandal—were prominent Church officials.

“The Scouting had been sending perpetrators to bishops who were also board members of Scouting, who were then sending them back to work at camps,” Steed tells me. “They basically say the bishops can be the judges, and so you go in there and confess your sins and it just depends on the bishop—whether they’re extremists, or whether they’re compassionate and understanding.” He pauses. “I’m worried that the reason they keep this sexual overreach into the lives of developing [young people], is that most of the tithing comes from the married couples.” (Mormons typically give 10 percent of their income to the Church.)

Zuckerman eventually published an award-winning series in the Post Register titled “Scouts’ honor” that examined the dozens of abuse allegations against Stowell, and the subsequent cover-up by the Boy Scouts and LDS Church. Then things got even stranger.

Frank VanderSloot, the billionaire founder of supplement company Melaleuca (and richest man in Idaho), who was heavily involved in the Mormon Church and Boy Scouts, took it upon himself to publish full-page ads in the local paper questioning the “Scouts’ honor” investigation. He also went after journalist Peter Zuckerman, claiming that because he was a “homosexual” his reporting was biased. In the film, Zuckerman emotionally recounts being alienated in his community and losing many of his friends as a result of the attack ads.

Knappenberger, who previously helmed the doc Nobody Speaks: Trials of the Free Press, about how billionaire conservative Peter Thiel helped take down Gawker, initially viewed the doc as a piece about “attacks on the press,” which is where he came across the “Scouts’ honor” series and Frank VanderSloot’s campaign against it. “He has chosen to use his money to go after people he disagrees with, or who he wants to silence,” Knappenberger says of VanderSloot.

Steed, meanwhile, was subjected to bullying at his middle school, the loss of nearly all his friends, and gaslighting by his Church. 

“There was a letter going around [at the time] quoting the first presidency in all of the churches in Idaho and Utah and Wyoming, talking and minimizing what happened to me, the sexual abuse at camp, from the pulpit and sacrament. They made it look like they handled everything well and that it was an isolated case only. The cover-up by the Church was on so many levels,” offers Steed, shaking his head. 
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“There was a really powerful community all orchestrated and working together to destroy these stories of child abuse. Thinking about it as an adult now, this infuriates me.”

The harassment has continued to this day. “When I went to get married, [the Mormon Church] tried to stop my temple marriage because I was a victim of child abuse. They tried to embarrass me in front of all my family,” says Steed, now 37.

Apparently, a Church Elder with ties to the Boy Scouts called the temple, and tried to get them to cancel the ceremony. “My wedding started 45 minutes late with a frustrated temple president telling this guy, ‘This is my temple, you can’t mess with it.’ They tried to humiliate me on my wedding day, and my family had come from around the world to celebrate,” Steed remembers through tears.

In the wake of “Scouts’ honor” and Steed’s courageous efforts to expose abuse, multiple lawsuits were filed against the Boy Scouts of America, who were forced to turn over internal documents that revealed widespread abuse—as well as extensive efforts to cover up that abuse—within the organization. These so-called “perversion files” included over a hundred cases of Scout leaders who were accused of abuse and then either moved to a different troop or quietly kicked out of the Scouts. The Boy Scouts of America eventually acknowledged their abuse epidemic, and promised to take measures to change.

One of the most moving scenes in Church and the Fourth Estate sees Steed reading Stowell’s apology letter to him for the first time. “Sad when a pedophile says what the Church never said,” he mutters.

Yes, the Mormon Church never formally apologized for their role in the silencing of Steed, and the cover-up of his (and others’) abuse.

“It would blow my mind if the Church did a formal apology, because that would be so healing. It’s this huge elephant in the room, and it’s been such a painful pathway to feel so alienated in my own Church for standing up for what our Church teaches us to believe in,” he says.

“In my life, the greatest opposition was people thinking I was attacking the Church, when really I was trying to help save it,” he continues. “It was people accusing you of being non-Christian in angry and hateful ways, when really you started to relate to what Christ must have felt when he started to teach people against the establishment who hurt people in his day, and in that sense, helped protect people. I just never imagined that I would be a part of something so important after feelings that made me feel so unimportant.”

Videos: Bradley Stowell Mormon sex crime case

    • Video title: Church and the Fourth Estate
    • Video description: per The Intercept: "In 1997, while at a Boy Scout camp in Idaho, Adam Steed was sexually abused by a Scout leader and Latter-day Saints mentor named Brad Stowell. (The Boy Scouts have historically been closely connected to the Church of Latter-day Saints, often known as the Mormon church.) When Steed sought to report the abuse, leadership at the camp failed to act, so the then-14-year-old boy took it on himself to call the police, who descended on the camp and arrested Stowell. “That should be the end of the story,” Steed told me when I interviewed him, “where the good guys come in and fix it. But unfortunately, that was just the beginning." Description source: https://theintercept.com/2020/12/21/boy-scouts-abuse-scandal-film/
    • Video title: 8 Passengers Mormon Therapist Jodi Hildebrandt Destroyed My Life - Adam Paul Steed | Ep. 1809
    • Video description: Adam Paul Steed, raised Mormon, was @bused as an LDS Boy Scout in Idaho. He became a nationally known whistleblower when he turned in a dangerous pred@tor, and teamed with his father to successfully change the Idaho sexu@l @buse statute of limitations laws. Later, Adam moved to Utah with his new wife to attend Brigham Young University. Soon thereafter tragedy stuck when he fell into the crosshairs of Mormon therapist Jodi Hildebrandt - at the recommendation of his Mormon bishop. Among other violations, Jodi Hildebrandt sought to paint Adam as an @buser (with no evidence), and violated Adam's client confidentiality by reporting him to the BYU Honor Code office, which led to the suspension of her therapist license around 2012. Adam believes it possible that Jodi Hildebrandt's efforts to smear his reputation were possibly motivated by a desire to retaliate against him for his whistleblowing as a Boy Scout. One important question we ask today - why was Elder Harold G. Hillam (Presidency of the LDS Quorum of the 70, and the President of the very same camp where Adam had been abused) deeply involved in Jodi Hildebrandt's attacks on Adam? This is Adam's story.

Mormon Sexual Abuse Map

International map of locations where active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints perpetrated or allegedly perpetrated sexual abuse or other sex crimes, or where LDS leaders failed or allegedly failed to help abuse survivors.