FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE-
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Tamara Griggs, Assistant VP for Media Relations, SCA, Inc.
On Behalf of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.
On August 23rd of 2004, Benjamin Schragger, of Weisenberg Township, PA, pled guilty but mentally ill to eleven criminal counts involving minors, including charges of child molestation. Some of these charges involved children he had met through the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.
Schragger, known in the SCA, Inc., as Lord Ben the Steward, held the positions of instructor and director of the Pages' School, a part of the Children's Activities in the East Kingdom Branch of the SCA, Inc., from 1999 through August of 2003.
The SCA, Inc., was shocked to learn of the allegations in the Fall of last year, remains deeply saddened by these tragic events and wishes to convey its sympathy to all those involved.
The SCA, Inc., will be taking all appropriate actions available under its governing documents and will avail itself of all measures designed to protect the SCA, Inc., membership and participants from known endangering influences.
The Directors of the SCA, Inc., have directed senior staff to ensure policies are in place regarding minor participation in Society activities. The Vice President for Operations is currently in the process of reviewing policies regarding minors and their involvement in sanctioned activities, and is committed to further strengthening and improving such policies with the goal of protecting our youth to the fullest extent possible.
As an organization, we make every attempt to ensure the safety of our children. Unfortunately, no set of policies, procedures or protocols can ever protect us completely. These steps underway at the highest levels of our organization will need to be matched by a thorough and constant vigilance by all members to protect all children, not only for ourselves, but for our Society.
Mr. Schragger was placed under suspension in November of 2003, pending the outcome of the allegations against him. This step was undertaken without prejudice. With his plea, the Directors will be pursuing a permanent revocation and denial of membership, to be undertaken at the September Conference call meeting on or about 9/8/04.
The Directors remind the SCA Membership and participants that our ceremonial officers (Crown, Royal family) are in NO WAY a substitute for modern authorities. When a modern law has been broken, or someone is in danger, the responsible action is to inform the Seneschal, and contact modern authorities.
The Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc., is an international 501-3c not-for-profit corporation, with the aim of preserving the fine arts, arts martial, and chivalric ideals of the Middle Ages and Renaissance through participatory activity.
The SCA, Inc., is a volunteer-run organization, divided into groups by region/country/state, then by county, and further by city and/or college-campus. For the flavor of our activities, we use the conceit of calling these respectively Kingdoms, Baronies, and Shires/Marches/Cantons.
The SCA, Inc., welcomes and encourages family participation, and the active involvement of parents in family events.
For further information, see our website at www.sca.org.