A Toledo Scout leader and teacher is being accused by at least three teenage boys that the scouts leader sexually molested them while they were on a scouts camp in Santa Cruz village. All three incidents reportedly happened on October 31.
The first incident happened at 4:30 pm that Friday. A 17yr. old Belizean Student of San Jose Village, Toledo District reported that he arrived at Santa Cruz Village along with 34 year old Martin Palma, his scout leader. The 17 year old stated that he smelt the strong aroma of alcohol on Palma’s breath, and decided to go walk through a short cut from Santa Cruz Village to San Jose Village, but Palma followed him. The minor further stated that Palma walked up to him and put his hands around his neck and began touching his lips and cheeks at which time Palma told the minor that he was a rich man and he will give the minor $1,000.00 to keep quiet.
The second incident happened at 8 pm that night. This time, the victim was a 16 year old Belizean Scout of San Jose Village, Toledo District. He told police that at 8:00pm, while camping at the community center in Santa Cruz Village, he was awakened by Martin Palma, the scout leader, touching him on the chest and loosening his belt buckle. The 16 year old said that Palma told him that he would give him $1,000.00 to keep quiet.
The third victim was another 16 year old boy, a farmer of San Jose Village, Toledo District. He told police that at 5:50pm on October 31, he went to Santa Cruz Community Center where he was to meet Martin Palma, his scout leader. The 16 year old farmer stated that Palma gave him alcohol to drink and at 10 o’clock that night, he was awakened by Palma touching his chest and penis. The 16 year old stated that Palma told him the same thing he told the others; he would give him $1,000.00 for his silence.
Police have since arrested and charged Martin Palma, 34 year old, a Belizean Teacher of Forest Home Village, with three counts of Sexual Assault.