A physician who lives in Greendale and worked for the Greenfield Health Department and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin has been identified as a child sex offender, following a Los Angeles Times review of secret Boy Scouts of America files.
The Milwaukee chapter of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests or SNAP, directed by Shorewood's Peter Isely, says before he was a pediatrician, Dr. Thomas Kowalski was a volunteer camp doctor for the Milwaukee County Council of Boy Scouts.
According to Kowalski’s Boy Scout file obtained by the Times, he admitted to leaders that he touched himself while fondling two children at a Wisconsin summer camp in Forest County in 1987. Our media partners at Fox 6 have more on the allegations against Thomas Kowalski, including a fruitless stop at his Greendale house, and his response to the LA Times.
The Times reviewed 1,600 confidential files spanning more than two decades, which found that scouting officials “failed to report hundreds of alleged child molesters to police and often hid the allegations from parents and the public."
“Although the Boy Scouts and others think that Kowalski is so serious a risk to children that he is permanently banned from scouting, they apparently are not that concerned that he is a pediatrician with daily, intimate access to children,” Isely said in a statement Monday. “As Kowalski admitted to the Times, if his crimes had been known by the public — meaning especially the parents of his child patients — he would never have been able to practice as a pediatrician."
In a series of internal documents the Milwaukee County Council Executive of the Boy Scouts, James L. Roberts, indicates that it was his intention to keep Kowalski’s child sex assaults “confidential” and hidden from public view and banned him from the organization, the group says. According to the documents, the assaults were reported to the Forest County Sheriff’s Department, the Department of Social Services and to the District Attorney who declined to prosecute.
Scout records reveal that the district attorney formally notified the Board of Medical Examiners of Kowalski’s actions and agreed that if he completed psychological counseling and received appropriate peer review no charges would be filed, according to SNAP.
Kowalski continued working with youth for at least 14 years after his admission to scouting authorities. He left Children’s Hospital in 2002 to work at Marquette University’s Student Health Service and the Greenfield Health Department. He worked at the Greenfield Health Department as a medical advisor from 1996 to 2008. As an advisor he only consulted on medical orders and policy procedure, said Greenfield Health Director Darren J. Rausch. Kowalski did not have direct contact with health department clients.
Kowalski has also served as a foreign missionary since 1994 with the “Volunteer Missionary Movement” and has made multiple trips to Guatemala.
He identifies himself in his online professional profile as “semi-retired” but “looking for part-time or consulting work” with children and adolescents.
Milwaukee SNAP officials are asking the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office for an investigation to determine how an admitted child sex offender who committed crimes in the course of his professional duties could continue to work with children for decades and to determine if additional crimes were committed.
SNAP is also calling on the Boy Scouts of America to oust any official still with the organization who has been involved in covering up child sex crimes.
***Greendale Patch Local Editor Viviana Buzo contributed to this story.