Police identify potentially new molestation victims of accused Boy Scout leader

9:47 PM, Apr 8, 2011   |    comments
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Jon Demers.

Collinsville, IL (KSDK) - Authorities have identified two possible molestation victims connected to a Boy Scout leader, who remains jailed on accusations of inappropriate contact with another juvenile.

The Collinsville Police Department will not say if these two victims are, in fact, Boy Scouts. However, the alleged incidents are connected to the suspect's role in the Boy Scouts organization.

According to Lt. Eric Zaber, a police spokesman, 53-year-old Jon Demers was arrested at his home on April 5. He admitted to molesting one child while that boy was in the Scouts. The family of that victim contacted police and told them Demers had sexually abused the boy over a six-year period at Demers' residence and other locations in the bi-state region.

Zaber said Demers admitted to not only molesting the juvenile victim, but several other children in Collinsville and other jurisdictions.

"You really can't trust anyone these days and people you think you know do it so it's very scary," said grandmother Alleen Hayes.

Demers served as a Boy Scout committee member and counselor for Troop 520, which held its meetings at Signal Hill United Methodist Church in Belleville. NewsChannel 5 confirmed Demers is a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel stationed at Scott Air Force Base. Police said he retired in 2007, meaning he was active military when many of the alleged molestations occurred.

"It's scary because you are supposed to be able to trust these Boy Scout leaders with your children and they go on outings and stuff like that," said parent Candace Bondaruk.

At present, Demers is a civilian employee at SAFB, working at the Tanker Airlift Control Center, according to Captain Justin Brockhoff, Chief of Public Affairs for the Tanker Airlift Control Center.  Brockhoff said the Air Force is assisting in the investigation. In the meantime, Demers has been suspended pending the investigation.

The Air Force released the following statement Friday afternoon:

"The Air Force takes these allegations seriously and our thoughts are with those who have been affected by these events. These charges are not consistent with the high standards we have for our uniformed personnel and civilian employees, and we will continue to cooperate with the civilian authorities that have jurisdiction over the investigation."

Police said Demers has three foster children who have been removed from the home and they're also questioning previous foster children.

On Thursday, April 7 the St. Clair County State's Attorney's Office charged Demers with 12 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He remains jailed at the St. Clair County Jail on $500,000 bond.

Authorities are still working to identify and locate other possible victims and prosecute Demers in the appropriate venues, Zaber said.


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