The former president of the Greater Niagara Frontier Council of the Boy Scouts of America was charged Friday with multiple felony and misdemeanor charges related to alleged sexual conduct with an 11-year-old and a 13-year-old in the towns of Boston and Hamburg.
Michael M. Meyers, 57, of Boston, pleaded not guilty at an arraignment before Hamburg Town Court Justice Gerald P. Gorman.
Meyers' attorneys Herbert L. Greenman and Timothy W. Hoover, told The Buffalo News that Meyers “absolutely denies” the allegations.
“We’ve been aware of this investigation for the past couple of months, and we firmly believe he has done nothing wrong,” Greenman said.
The charges against Meyers were listed by Erie County District Attorney's Office as follows:
- One count of course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree, a Class D felony.
- One count of sexual abuse in the first degree, a Class D felony.
- Two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, Class A misdemeanors.
- Two counts of sexual abuse in the second degree, Class A misdemeanors.
- One count of sexual abuse in the third degree, Class B misdemeanor.
The sexual conduct with the 11-year-old is alleged to have happened between December 2015 and August 2019, according to the DA's Office. The sexual conduct with a second juvenile victim is alleged to have started when the victim was 13, at a location in the Town of Boston, and continued from May 2016 to September 2019.
A spokeswoman for the DA's Office said the criminal allegations are not associated with Meyers' leadership role with the Boy Scouts.
At the time of the investigation, Meyers was serving on the executive board of the Greater Niagara Frontier Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He previously served as council president.
The Boy Scouts of America said in a written statement that the organization "took immediate action" to preclude Meyers from future participation in programs.
“The behavior described in these allegations is reprehensible and runs counter to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America stands," the statement reads. "Upon learning of these allegations, we took immediate action to preclude him from future participation in our programs. Nothing is more important than the safety and protection of children in our Scouting programs – it is our top priority."
The statement also listed a "multi-layered process of safeguards" used by the organization to protect against child sex abuse.
If convicted on all charges, Meyers faces a maximum of 14 years in prison.
Rosanne E. Johnson, chief of the Special Victims Unit of the Erie County District Attorney's Office, said in court that the allegations involve ongoing sexual contact with two juveniles. She requested bail for $50,000. The cases were investigated by state police.
Greenman told Gorman that both he and Meyers have known about the allegations for about two months and that Meyers turned himself over to State Police. Greenman called Meyers a "staple in the community."
"He is no risk of danger and no risk of fleeing," Greenman said of Meyers.
Gorman released Meyers on his own recognizance.
Johnson also asked for an order of protection and said that Meyers had been in contact with one of the alleged victims and that he also appeared at the location of employment of a sibling of one of the juvenile victims.
Greenman didn't oppose the order of protection but offered explanations for the encounters. He said Meyers had gone to church where he ran into one of the juveniles and the parents of that juvenile. In the other incident, Meyers had taken his mother out for a cup of coffee where he ran into the sibling of the juvenile, Greenman said.
"The bottom line is there was no intent to contact anybody," Greenman said. The judge granted the order.
The next court date, set for Jan. 13, will be in Town of Boston Court.