February 24, 1989, Friday, North Sports Final Edition
ARTHUR TAGGART IS NOT ON THE AMERICAN SUNBATHING ASSOCIATIONS (NOW AANR) CAUTION LIST.
The director of an ''Indian lore camp,'' where an estimated 200 children were nude from their arrival until their departure, has been charged with sexual abuse of four juveniles, authorities said Wednesday.
Detective Gary Martin of the Kentucky State Police told The Evansville (Ind.) Press a KSP Investigation that began in early April led to the arrest of Arthur Taggert, 57, at his home in Scottsville.
Only four cases of sexual abuse have been reported so far, Martin said. However, investigators are trying to contact ''alumni'' of the camp from as many as 20 years ago, to gather evidence against Taggert, the Press reported.
KSP officials were contacted by police in Elmhurst, Ill., after a juvenile there told his teacher he had attended a nudist camp on Kentucky Lake in southwest Kentucky.
The teacher reported the incident to social services in the Chicago area, Martin told the Press.
''The brochure came in the mail and (the child) had a bad reaction. He didn't want to go back to the camp,'' Martin said. ''He's 9. He attended the camp when he was 6.''
Martin said a brochure promoting the camp depicted boys wearing loin cloths and swimming in the nude. Taggert would transport the boys from their homes to the camp in his van, Martin said.
''If (parents) never went to the camp, they probably thought they were only swimming in the nude,'' Martin said. ''It's all totally outdoors, all their activities were performed in the nude. They'd just be nude from the time they got there until the time they left. The brochure says it's an Indian lore camp and he said Indians run around nude.''
Kentucky law does not require any licensing or regulation of camps, Martin said. The boys' parents were unaware of the nature of the camp's dress code, he added.
The camp is about 3 miles from the Tennessee border on Kentucky Lake. About 90 percent of the campers were from the Chicago area, although police have contacted one from Dayton, Ohio, and another from Clarksville, Tenn., the Press reported.
An alumni list taken from Taggert's home listed a camper from Henderson, Ky., in 1965 and 10 from Louisville around the same time, Martin said.
Taggert, 57, was arrested in his home on April 17 and charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault and possession of child pornography, said DuPage County, Ill., State's Attorney James Ryan.
Taggert is accused of performing oral sex with two boys, ages 12 and 13, during a recruiting trip to Addison, Ill., in May 1986, Ryan said.
He was targeted for investigation one month earlier when Elmhurst police stopped his van for a routine traffic violation and found several boxes of pornographic pictures of young boys who attended his camp, said Elmhurst Police Chief John Millner.
Evidence of alleged criminal acts performed at the Calloway County camp with boys from Illinois and Tennessee will be presented to a Calloway County, Ky., grand jury in May, where Taggert could face additional charges, according to Capt. Gary Lusher of the KSP.
Lusher said state police have not located any victims from southern Illinois Indiana or Kentucky.
Taggert waived extradition and arrived in DuPage County Tuesday and was jailed on $300,000 bond.