Warning: This story includes graphic details of child sex abuse that readers may find distressing.


Scouts Honour: The Secret Files of the Boy Scouts of America, Netflix's newest investigative documentary, exposes how one of America's largest youth organisations was also the centre of one of the most horrific child sexual abuse scandals in history.

The Netflix documentary aims to go in depth about the sexual abuse cases and the impacts of it on the victims, through interviews with survivors, former employees and whistleblowers.

Scouts Honour is directed by Brian Knappenberger, who previously worked on The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez, and is executive produced by the maker of Oscar-nominated documentary Virunga, Orlando von Einsiedel.

Aaron Averhart – pictured above with his older brother Scott – was a Boy Scout in the '80s, and has said he was sexually abused by Scout leader William Sheehan whilst on camp, but Sheehan was never arrested or convicted of a crime. Decades later, Averhart has spoken out further about his experience – a part of his life he is still healing from.

Read on to find out everything we know about what happened to Aaron Averhart.

What happened to Aaron Averhart?

At 12 years old, Aaron Averhart has said he was molested, raped and choked by Scout camp leader Michael Sheehan, who died in 2017. Detailing the reported abuse that spanned more than three years, Averhart spoke out about what he faced as a child Boy Scout.

"His first inappropriate contact with me was in that camp, in that tent and it was the first or second night I was there. He appeared in my tent late at night as I was sleeping and climbed in the cot with me and dry humped me," Averhart told News-Press.

He continued: "[It was] pretty much for the remainder of the summer to varying degrees he did the same thing in the waterfront and the lake as well. The water was darker so you couldn't really see what he was doing below the surface."

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Averhart claimed the abuse took place across four consecutive summers from 1986 to 1989. Two weeks into the second summer, Averhart said Sheehan "started to rape" him. "It just got progressively worse from there," he told WINK News.

In an excerpt from his book, Finding Foxborough, Averhart reminisced on being "so excited" to join the summer camp.

He wrote: "I could barely contain myself. The year was 1986, I had turned 12 a few short months before, and I was ready for my greatest adventure so far, the Camp Franklin Miles Boy Scout Summer Camp Program."

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Averhart was 15 years old when he reported being molested by William Sheehan over four years at camp. Averhart broke down one night in a counsellor's cabin and Sheehan was quickly removed from Camp Miles, but no criminal charges were brought against Sheehan until 2012 – by which time Sheehan was in ill health so his arrest warrant was never enforced.

"When a child tries to come out about abuse against a figure like that, they are almost always confronted with an uphill battle, due to the abuser's carefully cultivated image and reputation," Averhart's book reads.

Now 48 years old, Averhart has spoken about the toll it took on him as a child.

"The abuse I suffered radically altered the course of my life," the former Boy Scout told The Sun back in 2020.

"I have been crippled with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety. After the fourth year of abuse, I had endured all I could and began contemplating suicide. I started drinking at 12 to cope with my situation, and began smoking pot at 12.

"That would lead to decades of substance abuse. I stopped putting any effort into school, turned inward emotionally and grew very depressed. I was scared people would discover my secret for a long time."

In a statement released in 2020, President of the Boy Scouts of America Roger Mosby said: "We are devastated by the number of lives impacted by past abuse in Scouting and moved by the bravery of those who have come forward. We are heartbroken that we cannot undo their pain.

"The Boy Scouts of America is taking responsibility for past failures, and we are working to support survivors... We are also working to ensure that we continue to bring Scouting’s unparalleled benefits to youth and families for many years to come – with their safety as our absolute top priority.

"While any instance of abuse is one too many, the overwhelming majority of claims filed in the national organisation's Chapter 11 case relate to allegations of abuse that occurred before our modern youth protection policies were implemented more than three decades ago. That does not in any way absolve us of what happened in the past, but I hope it demonstrates that we take youth protection extremely seriously."

Where is Aaron Averhart now?

As of 2023, Aaron Averhart is a university student and is now an author of the book Finding Foxborough. Averhart occasionally shares emotional excerpts from his book on his Facebook page, as well as quotes standing in solidarity with other victims.

In August 2023, Aaron posted to his Facebook: "It's been some time since I have posted, and that's because life has been so darn good to me, that I honestly forget!

"This isn't meant to brag and I'm not selling anything. I'm currently at a university as a full time student and have a solid plan to enter the world of academia."

Scouts Honour: The Secret Files of the Boy Scouts of America is available to stream on Netflix now.

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