Man with ties to Boy Scouts accused of sexually assaulting child
HOUSTON – A man with ties to the Boy Scouts of America is accused of sexually assaulting a child, and there may be more victims, investigators said Wednesday.
Houston police said Ulf Lueders, 41, a German national, was charged with continuous sexual assault of a child and online solicitation of a minor. Court records showed that he was arrested in August.
During a probable cause bail hearing shortly after his arrest, prosecutors said Lueders admitted to police that he knew he had made sexual remarks online to a person he thought was a 14-year-old girl. Prosecutors added that Lueders showed up to an address given to him by undercover officers with the intent to have sex with that underage teen.
Investigators said Lueders was involved with the Boy Scouts for more than five years and had served with the group internationally, as well. They said Lueders was involved locally with the Sam Houston Area Council of the Boy Scouts, and was associated with Troop 111, Ship 846 and Crew 762, which are located in north Houston.
Police said they want to speak to anyone whose children had interaction with Lueders. They said concerned parents should call the department’s Special Victims Division at 713-830-3254.
"Right now, we don't have any reason to believe that anything has happened, but we are deeply concerned just because these types of crimes, usually it doesn't stop with one victim," Houston police Sgt. Luis Menendez-Sierra said.
Lueders is divorced with two children. His ex-wife did not want to talk about the specifics of the case.
"I'm not involved in this mess that he did," Sunitha Lueders told Channel 2 News.
When we stopped by Lueders' Spring home Wednesday he did not answer, but his attorney spoke on his behalf.
"Mr. Lueders adamantly denies all of the allegations against him; he never inappropriately touched his children or any other children or anyone involved in Scouting," defense attorney David Cunningham said.
Lueders is free on a $100,000 bond, but because he is not a U.S. citizen, a condition of his bond is he cannot leave the country. He is due back in court Oct. 24.
Sam Houston Area Council CEO and Scout Executive Tom Varnell released the following statement about the case:
"The behavior included in these allegations is abhorrent and runs counter to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America stands. We were shocked to learn of these allegations and took immediate action to remove this individual and prohibit him from any future participation in our programs. We are working closely with law enforcement on this matter and encourage any victims to contact the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
"Nothing is more important than the safety of our youth members. We seek to prevent child abuse through comprehensive policies and procedures to serve as barriers to abuse. These include a thorough screening process for adult leaders and staff, criminal background checks, requiring two or more adult leaders be present with youth at all times during Scouting activities, and the prompt mandatory reporting of any allegation or suspicion of abuse.
"The BSA offers assistance with counseling to any Scout, former Scout, or the family member of any Scout who suffered abuse during their time in Scouting. The BSA has a dedicated 24/7 Scouts First Hotline at 1-844-726-8871 and email contact address (email@example.com) for these sensitive matters and to report any suspicions of inappropriate behavior."
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-8477.
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