(JS Online) Twenty more names have been added to the list of Boy Scout leaders and volunteers accused of sexually assaulting children in Wisconsin over the last several decades. The newest additions, published by the Los Angeles Times last week, involve mostly cases from the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Included in the group: a 6-foot 5-inch, 300-plus-pound man known as “Bigfoot,” accused of molesting boys at St. John’s School for the Deaf in St. Francis in the early 1970s.
Thomas “Bigfoot” Tannehill, who himself was deaf, was never criminally charged in Wisconsin in the 1970s when he was a dorm supervisor at the school or in the 1980s when he was an assistant scoutmaster with three units in the Milwaukee County Council.
He was banned from Boy Scouts of America in 1990 after he was convicted of molesting two boys in Indiana at the Indiana State School for the Deaf, where he was also a Scoutmaster, according to records ordered to be released in October by an Oregon court.
Tannehill was mentioned in a lawsuit filed in 2009 against the Milwaukee Archdiocese involving the late Catholic priest Lawrence Murphy, who also worked at St John’s and is believed to have molested as many as 200 boys from 1950 to 1974. The lawsuit, filed by a former student at the school, Dean Weissmuller, maintained the archdiocese knew Murphy and Tannehill had previously abused students, deceived families about it and allowed the men continued access to children.
Documents tied to the case suggest Tannehill may have sexually assaulted more than 20 students.
Tannehill died in 2007.