A slip-and-fall accident inside an Orlando self-storage unit has led to a stunning confession and the arrest of local former Cub Scout and Boy Scout leader on child pornography charges, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Apparently Fleetwood Peeples’ Jr. slipped and fell at his self-storage in Orlando, struck his head, and was found lying in a puddle of blood. Emergency workers who came to his aid became suspicious when, rather than worrying about his own injuries, Mr. Peeple seemed preoccupied with a camera he has been working with, the security of the contents of his storage unit, and whether his wife would have to be informed be about the existence of the unit. Apparently Mr. Peeples had forgotten that he had asked the EMT’s to grab his camera, and consequently they brought the camera with Mr. Peeples to the hospital. When questioned about the camera in the hospital, Mr. Peeples admitted that he was using the camera to record images from child pornography magazines he was secretly keeping in his storage unit. When police searched the storage unit they found numerous movies and magazines featuring child pornography. Most shockingly, police also found more than 100 Polaroid photographs of young boys in lewd and sexually suggestive poses. When confronted, Mr. Peeples broke down and admitted to police that the photos were of boys he had taken on camping trips as a Cub Scout and Boy Scout leader in Casselberry. Mr. Peeples also told police that he had molested many of the boys, and forced them to perform sex acts. Interesting to me as a Florida child sexual abuse attorney, the Boy Scouts of America have disavowed Mr. Peeples, and have indicated that he no longer has no ties to the organization. However, the Boy Scouts don’t say when or why ties were cut with Mr. Peeples, or whether there were ever any questions raised about Mr. Peeples at or near the time he was involved in Scouting. The article indicates that Mr. Peeples’ victims would likely be between 30 and 50 years old. What rights would these men have if they decided to pursue claims for damages related to their abuse? Due to the Statute of Limitations, the boys who were abused by Mr. Peeples would likely only be able to pursue claims if they could show that the shock of the abuse lead to a repression or inability to remember the events or tie current problems to the abuse, or that there was otherwise some very good reason that they could not assert claims within the typical Statute of Limitations. Obviously, these circumstances will only apply to a limited number of victims, so there is not likely to be an explosion of claims related to Mr. Peeples’ abuse, although there may be some. Whatever happens, I am glad that Mr. Peeples has finally been caught. Perhaps this will provide...Read More »
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