tampabay.com

Scoutmaster is arrested

By THOMAS LAKE
Published May 13, 2007


NEW PORT RICHEY - The boy loved adventure and playing outdoors. He was a Boy Scout in a troop in which people trusted and admired the Scoutmaster. Then, this year, his behavior changed.

He began lashing out, dropping hints about a man he called a "pervert, " his father said. His parents questioned him. The 11-year-old boy finally opened up. The law got involved. And on Friday, someone was arrested:

The Scoutmaster, who is also a pediatric nurse.

Authorities say Steven Leroy Greenleaf, 53, of 2205 Peggy Drive in Holiday, repeatedly exposed himself to the boy during Scout activities.

He was charged with lewd or lascivious exhibition and held in lieu of $20, 000 bail. According to an arrest report from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, he confessed to the crime.

This is what happened, according to the arrest report and sheriff's spokesman Doug Tobin:

The first incident took place several months ago on a canoe trip in another county. Greenleaf and the boy were last in a caravan of canoes when Greenleaf pulled the canoe to shore and got out. The two walked into the woods, where Greenleaf exposed himself.

Then, on the night of a Scout meeting April 23 at King of Glory Lutheran Church in New Port Richey, Greenleaf lured the boy into a restroom, where he exposed himself again and dared the boy to touch him.

Greenleaf has been affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America for at least 20 years, according to an item in the Tampa Tribune last December. He has no criminal record in Florida.

His troop regularly meets at King of Glory and will continue to do so, although Greenleaf has been removed from his position, said the Rev. Gary Logan, interim pastor of the church. Logan was scheduled to meet with Scout leaders Saturday night to discuss the children's safety.

"It's an 11-year-old child who's possibly scarred for life, " said the boy's father, whose identity the St. Petersburg Times is withholding to protect the boy.

Executive Bill Davis of the West Central Florida Council of the Boy Scouts of America did not return a phone call Friday.

Greenleaf had been a nurse for about two years at River's Edge Pediatrics in New Port Richey, according to Dr. Kathleen Montemayor, who owns the practice.

She said an attorney told her she had little choice but fire him, even though she trusts him and does not believe the allegations. "We have to let him go, " she said.

"I don't think Steve stands a chance. The child says something, and ... Steve is automatically guilty."

Thomas Lake can be reached at tlake@sptimes.com or toll-free at 1-800-333-7505, ext. 6245.