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Keep Houston Press Free
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Cops Sexually Abusing Teens Learning to Be Cops

What could go wrong with young kids learning to be cops by hanging with them as they do their jobs?

Lots, according to this week's cover story.

The Explorer program is administered by Learning for Life, a subsidiary of the Boy Scouts of America. Teenage girls and boys take part all over the nation.

In Brownsville, one cop lured a 15-year-old girl into having sex with him. There's now a huge lawsuit because investigators allowed sexual activity to occur while they secretly watched in order to make a case -- essentially using "an unwitting 15-year-old girl as bait for a serial sexual abuser," the story says.

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And the problem was not confined to Brownsville.

In recent decades, more than 100 police officers have had sex with Explorers they were entrusted with mentoring, the vast majority of them underage. In just the past year, two sheriff's deputies in San Bernardino, California, were arrested for having sex with underage girls; a New York City cop was charged with child sex abuse after sending racy text messages to a 15-year-old; an officer in Bremerton, Washington, was reprimanded for sleeping with an 18-year-old; and a former cop in Burlington, North Carolina, pled guilty to taking indecent liberties with a minor after being accused of having sex with a 14-year-old he'd taken on ride-alongs.

This week's cover story is "Hands-On Experience."

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