Boys & Girls Clubs and Sexual Abuse: Patrick Sanders
The following is a summary of one of many cases across the country compiled in a Hearst Connecticut Media investigation of sexual abuse connected in some way to local affiliates of Boys & Girls Club of America, their staff, volunteers, members and/or attendees. Boys & Girls Club of America said that it does not keep a public list of sexual abuse incidents connected to clubs. If you have a story to share, or have information related to this or other incidents, contact us here.
A then-director of the Boys & Girls Club of Lufkin in Texas served four years and nine months in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography in 2010.
Patrick Sanders, 63, took photos of a 17-year-old child he knew in 2008 and was originally charged by Lufkin police, but the case was later turned over to federal prosecutors, according to local news outlets and his criminal indictment. Police found several images on his work computer during a search, according to the FBI.
There is no indication any of the images were of children tied to any Boys & Girls Club, officials have said.
Steve Davidson, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Deep East Texas, said the club is aware of the arrest and subsequent conviction of a former Lufkin site employee in 2010.
“At that time, our organization cooperated fully with authorities involved in the legal process,” Davidson said. “We understand that time does not take away any pain inflicted on the victim and their family, and our hearts remain with them. Our commitment to our Club members, their families, and our community is unwavering.”
In addition to the recent safety measures adopted by local clubs, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Deep East Texas has a multi-layered approach to safety in place to ensure the well-being of children at its clubs, Davidson said.
Sanders, who was ordered to serve a lifetime of supervised release after he was released from prison, later violated the conditions of his release when he was found in possession of a cellphone with internet and photographic capabilities in 2017. He admitted to using the cellphone to view images that depict sexually explicit conduct, federal officials said, and he was ordered to serve an additional six months in prison and ordered to serve a new term of six years of supervised release following his prison term.
Sanders did not respond to a mailed letter seeking comment.