Sixteen years later, he is now married and lives in Idaho Falls as a registered sex offender, and he claims to be completely rehabilitated.
“I was a molester,” he told the Post Register in 2005.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs claim that the Boy Scouts’ own records, along with newspaper reports from the time, prove that there were more than a dozen known pedophiles working or volunteering for the organization.
In statements, the Scouts concede that wrong was done.
“Where those involved in Scouting failed to protect, or worse, inflicted harm on children, we extend our deepest and sincere apologies to victims and their families,” said Scouts public relations director Deron Smith.
In 1997, Steed was a 14-year-old junior counselor well on his way to earning the rank of Eagle when he arrived at Camp Little Lemhi, a scenic campground on the Snake River south of Grand Teton National Park in southeastern Idaho.
His father, Paul, worked as a Mormon seminary teacher in nearby Pocatello and felt secure sending Adam and his younger brother, Ben, to the church-sponsored camp.
What no one in the Steed family—nor the parents of any other boys at Camp Little Lemhi—knew was that the camp’s program director, Brad Stowell, had a trail of dozens of child molestation accusations dating back nearly a decade.
After being molested by Stowell that summer, Steed acted on what the Boy Scouts of America, in its own literature and educational videos, calls “the three Rs of protection”: recognize, resist and report.
But when Steed went public with his story to a local newspaper, he claimed that after he told camp officials that Stowell was waking up boys in the middle of the night to fondle them, he was told not to tell his parents.
According to “Scout’s Honor,” an explosive six-part series published by the Idaho Falls Post Register in 2005, Steed then took matters into his own hands and assembled a group of Stowell’s victims (many were easily spotted by the necklaces that the predator gave out to his favorite targets) and demanded that something be done.