On Monday, May 8, 2017, two more former Irwindale Police Explorers filed a civil lawsuit alleging they were sexually abused as minors by former Officer Daniel Camerano. This brings the number of victims who have filed civil cases to 4. On April 21, 2017 a $2.75 million settlement was announced between the City of Irwindale and the first victim to file a civil lawsuit. Each of the victims with pending cases divulged they had been abused as minors in the Explorers program by Camerano when interviewed in 2014 by Los Angeles County Sheriffs investigators. The sexual abuse of numerous other girls was divulged in that same sheriffs investigation. Those girls have yet to file lawsuits. Camerano was criminally convicted of molestation in 2015 and sentenced to state prison.
The lawsuit contends that the girls were abused on Explorer sanctioned “Ride-Alongs” as well as in the Irwindale Police Station and during Explorer activities. “Ride-Alongs” are a significant part of Police Explorer activities. Police Explorer “Ride-Alongs” consist of Explorers, most often underage, riding alone with an officer or deputy in a patrol car while policing work is done. Studies and reports of Explorer programs around the country have revealed that these one on one “Ride Alongs” have been an all too routine way in which law enforcement personnel under the guise of mentoring youth, have been able to isolate and molest youth participating in the programs. Studies have revealed that the victims of Police Explorer sexual abuse are disproportionately female.
Learning for Life Inc., a subsidiary of the Boy Scouts of America, has administered the Police Explorer Program nationally since at least 2002. Learning for Life Inc. and the Boy Scouts of America before them, through media reports, criminal actions and civil lawsuits, have long known child sexual abuse of underage Explorers, and especially females, is an all too common problem. Learning for Life Inc., has created numerous policies for the operation of Explorer Programs to promote the safety of youth by seeking to prevent, detect and have reported suspected child sexual abuse in its programs. Learning for Life Inc., however has done nothing to mandate that police agencies adopt its policies or policies at least as stringent. The Irwindale Police Department despite Learning for Life Inc.’s policies being readily available had no policies or practices in place to aid in preventing, detecting or reporting of suspected child sexual abuse. Most youth serving organizations, be it schools, churches, day care operators, youth mentoring and youth sports programs have long ago created and implemented such policies. Learning for Life Inc., despite knowing of the risks to youth in its programs, did nothing to require such polices be created or implemented.
“If Irwindale had adopted and enforced Learning for Life’s child safety policies, none of these girls would have been sexually abused by Camerano. It’s sad that girls and boys around the country looking to develop a career in law enforcement, are at a heightened risk for molestation in Explorer programs, because Learning for Life, Inc. has chosen not to make child safety polices mandatory for its programs.”
Copies of Complaint and other materials can be viewed at: