A former Boy Scout official was charged Thursday with sexually assaulting a young Scout, the second set of sex abuse charges to be filed against him in a month.
Charles Bickerstaff, 56, of Dixon, was charged with one count of predatory criminal sexual assault and six counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
The new charges were filed shortly after Bickerstaff pleaded not guilty Thursday to aggravated criminal sexual abuse and criminal sexual assault charges filed last month that allege he molested a 16-year-old Scout at least four times since July.
Lee County State’s Attorney Paul Whitcombe said the latest case involves a boy who was younger than 13 when the suspected abuse began in spring 1998. The charges allege he was molested at least six times from then until late 2000.
Bickerstaff, who retired last year after working more than three decades for the Boy Scouts of America, denies involvement in any abuse, defense attorney Rolfe Ehrmann said Thursday.
Bickerstaff was district executive for the Boy Scouts’ Blackhawk Area Council, which serves Lee, Ogle and Whiteside counties in northern Illinois. There, he recruited and trained volunteers and helped organize fundraisers.
“He seems to be in pretty decent spirits, and he is prepared to sit down and work on preparing a defense,” Ehrmann said.
Prosecutors say the case against Bickerstaff could grow significantly because of journals found at his home that detail sexual encounters with underage boys dating back to 1989. Ehrmann said Bickerstaff has not acknowledged the diaries are his.
Bickerstaff remained jailed Thursday, and his bond was increased to $4 million after the new charges were filed.