[APPLAUSE] Child molester or pedophile– words that mean the same. Both words spar fear
and anger in us. Experts estimate
that there are 4 million pedophiles,
or child molesters, in the United States. Recent headlines have focused
on a shocking story of child molestation in a part of the
country many might have thought was immune from such horrors. [MUSIC – “MEET ME IN MONTANA”] (SINGING) In Montana– OPRAH WINFREY: Nestled on
the slopes of the Continental Divide, Boulder, Montana is a
ruggedly traditional community. It is the image of the American
West come to life, with horses nearly everywhere and
enough cows and cowboys to make this place look like an
ad for a Marlboro commercial. But the 1,200 people who live
here are not cardboard cutouts. [CHURCH BELLS RINGING] They are real, honest
people clinging to the conservative values which
have allowed this community to endure, but those
values did not prepare this community for
the horror which has shaken its very foundation– a 30-year history of pedophilia
in its school system. It’s pretty hard when you’re
raised in Montana to cope with these kind of things. Maybe if I’d have been
raised in California, I could have handled it better. OPRAH WINFREY: It is especially
hard when the perpetrator is an award-winning teacher,
much loved in the community, as Douglas Marks was. RON JESSOP: I did like the guy. I didn’t like what he did. And Doug Marks was
a great teacher. There’s no doubt about it. And people did not
want to recognize the fact that he did this. He would buy
kids athletic shoes that needed them for school
or if they needed a coat. He would take them on trips. I’ve been told that
he’s even helped pay for students’ college expenses. Nearly everything he did–
all the way from painting of the school in the summertime
to helping kids out with new pairs of basketball shoes– was for the ultimate end of
his own sexual gratification. That’s my opinion. OPRAH WINFREY: In
a plea bargain, Marks pled guilty to four
separate counts of child molestation, but the
actual toll of victims could be much higher. County Attorney Rich
Llewellyn, at the sentencing, stated that he has
established 45 people who he believes to be victims. Victims in the
community themselves estimate there could be hundreds
of victims, up to 400 victims. I feel a great deal of
guilt, shame, and remorse. Remorse, if there is such,
is remorse only for the fact that he’s in trouble. It has nothing to do with what
has happened to the victims. As I’ve indicated, they’ve
got to live with this for the rest of their lives. OPRAH WINFREY: Shane
Beaupre says he was one of Marks’ victims 25 years ago. Last year, according to
Beaupre, his own son became one of Marks’ last victims. CONNIE BEAUPRE: I
couldn’t understand why he wasn’t involved with his son. I understand a lot more now
than I ever did because I just didn’t know what was
happening with Shane, what had happened with him,
and what he’d been carrying with him for 25 years. I want you to welcome Shane
Beaupre and his wife Connie to the show. [APPLAUSE] This is a really shocking story. I read about it last
Monday in “USA Today,” but your entire
community of Boulder has been living with
it for quite some time. For about 35
years, I’d say, yeah. About 35 years, and
the question everybody I know wants to
know is how is it an entire community,
an entire town, could hold this
secret for so long? Well, most of the
individuals that were victims, a lot of them wouldn’t make a
statement because of being fear of their own peer
pressure, fear that society wouldn’t believe them. This man was a pillar
of the community. He was too big of an object in
my generation, 25 years ago, to knock down. So what grade were you? So is it like– so that reason that
it’s being predicted by a lot of the people
who were victims that it could be up to 400
different men, boys and men, is because– is this one school
in the community? Is it just one school, and
he’s one of the main teachers? Ones grade school,
yes, and one high school. OPRAH WINFREY: OK. And so what grade
was he teaching? He taught eighth grade. OPRAH WINFREY: And so everybody
who goes through eighth grade has to come through his
class at some point. SHANE BEAUPRE: That’s
right, and then he would start out
with the basketball, and my generation
would start out in the fifth and sixth grade
and then seventh and eighth. So he would have an opportunity
to get a group of boys at that time to go on out
of town trips with him. OPRAH WINFREY: Mm-hmm. And that was at the
time when everybody was streetwise to
him, and we would learn young in life, as we came
up through there, to avoid him. Avoid his class or avoid him– Well, avoid him
from his physicalness of trying to touch you. When did it first– do you remember, Shane, when
it first happened to you? Well, I guess he was
teaching in Clancy when he had left the high school, and I was
in Clancy at that time for one year. OPRAH WINFREY: And
Clancy’s near Boulder? Right, like 15 miles
away, and at that time, he had started the hand on
the back, down the shoulders– you know, the touching and that
was not more than a hand touch, but it was something that
was felt funny to me. You know, it wasn’t a fatherly
touch or a motherly touch. And you were in the fifth
grade, the sixth grade? SHANE BEAUPRE: I was in the
second grade at that time. In the second grade. And then about a
year after that, we moved to Boulder, and
then from the third grade on I went to school in Boulder. So then I wasn’t subject
to him until I got up into the fifth and sixth
grade and started playing little boys’ basketball. OPRAH WINFREY: Mm-hmm. And that’s at that time is
when living five miles out of town on a ranch that he
knew my mother was working late and that he would always
offer these rides home. That’s when he would
start touching the leg and touching the shoulders and
trying to gain that confidence, you know, that he was all
right, and I was all right. And I started
avoiding it and riding my bike five miles to
practice and back home again. OPRAH WINFREY: Mm-hmm. And just the general
hiding out from him and trying to stay away,
as all the kids did. OPRAH WINFREY: Mm-hmm. So was the word among
the boys, stay away from? That was sort of
the street thing? SHANE BEAUPRE: Mm-hmm,
the street thing, sure. OPRAH WINFREY: And
that was 25 years ago. Mm-hmm. OPRAH WINFREY: And
so were you ever physically sexually assaulted
or physically sexually molested? In general, it was just
those touching types, yes. OPRAH WINFREY: Mm-hmm. There was other instances
where kids were a lot more severe than what I was. OPRAH WINFREY: Mm-hmm. So you have a teacher that’s
feeling on you and everybody else knows that this teacher’s–
well, all the other kids, all the other boys know,
stay away from Mr. marks because he’s strange that way. You grow up and get
married, and your son goes to Mr. Marks’s class. You say that it
happened to you also. SHANE BEAUPRE: Mm-hmm. And you grew up. You got married. You married Connie and
had your own child. Four of them. Four of them. Three girls and a boy. And when you
found out your son was going to Mr. Marks’s
class, what did you think? Well, we had been out
of town for several years working construction. And when we did come
back to Boulder, and knowing that they were
all going to go to that school and he’d be subject to Marks,
I made a statement to them at dinner one night
that to beware of him, especially to Zach. OPRAH WINFREY:
Would did you say? I didn’t go into general
about the background of it. I just said Doug has a problem
with touching kids, especially boys, and stay
away from him, and that if at any point in time he
ever touches you, let me know. And I carried on a
little aggressive there toward Zachary on the
fact that making statements that I’d probably go
up there and physically do some bodily harm to him. Well, evidently it
stuck pretty hard, because when the
incident happened, they were scared to tell me. And I think that was what
happened in a lot of cases, that kids were just
flat scared to tell their fathers and mothers. OPRAH WINFREY: Because you
were scared to tell yours? SHANE BEAUPRE: Yes. And then your son
was scared to tell you. SHANE BEAUPRE: Mm-hmm.
– How did you find out about it? I had the Sheriff’s
office tell me as I was walking out of
the courthouse one day, and he said that
he had allegations that Zach had been touched by
Doug and that they wanted to– OPRAH WINFREY: Zach is your son? –yes, and they wanted
to take testimonies, statements, and videotape
him with a social worker. OPRAH WINFREY: Mm-hmm. And so at that point in
time is when I had found out, standing there looking
across from the courthouse at the school. And of course, my first
reaction was, well, I’ll go over and kill him,
and Dawson saying, no, let me go through the
legal system here, and we’ll fight
it the right way. So how did your son
come to tell the Sheriff without telling you? He, I don’t believe,
told the Sheriff. I think it was through
the school officials that he got the notification. OPRAH WINFREY: They
did an investigation? Yes. Jenny told– her son was
also touched by Doug Marks, and she told the Sheriff. So as far as you know,
your son was just touched. There are other people
who say that there was more than touching going on? SHANE BEAUPRE: There was a lot
more gruesome details and a lot more severe, severe victims. How has it affected the way
you dealt with your own life, your son in particular. Well, not knowing
up until probably two or three years
ago, that I was neglecting not only
my girls, but I was very much neglecting my son. About three years ago, he
made statements to his mother that he’d like to have a
little brother, that Dad was always gone;
Dad was always busy; Dad was always doing this. I never had much involvement. And through his
years growing up, Connie basically
did all the raising. And I was either working or
hunting or doing something else and never really involved. I know I never had the
physicalness– the hugging, the touching, the
kissing, you know? And is it because you think
of what happened, do you think? SHANE BEAUPRE: I guess it was a
psychological block in my head, and it took this time of this
evolving out to where you realize that you were a victim. And until I really
understood that, I guess, is before I come
out of my shell. Connie, you just knew that
he didn’t spend a lot of time with his son?
With Zach? Well, I was real confused
about it because I didn’t know that this had happened to
Shane until about a year and a half ago. I had no idea. And I was so confused why he
wasn’t more involved with Zach, you know, from the time he was
born because he was so proud of him. And we’ve talked about it
since this has all come out, and we both think that that’s
the reason why he probably didn’t was because of that.
You know, it felt strange. OPRAH WINFREY: Now,
this has all come out. I can’t imagine what
it’s like living in a community with 1,200
people and something like this happens. Is the town now split
between people who think you should have shut up about it? SHANE BEAUPRE: In general,
I suppose they are, yeah. And then people who are
now coming forth and say, yeah, it happened to me? SHANE BEAUPRE: Mm-hmm. And I think there is
a lot of guilt there. I think, you know, there was– that long a span and
that many kids involved, there had been a
lot of other parents that in the back of
their mind they knew too. OPRAH WINFREY: They knew? But 25 years ago, none of
them said nothing either, and so this generation
just keeps going one after another, after another. OPRAH WINFREY: But the kids kind
of tried to protect themselves? SHANE BEAUPRE: Mm-hmm, sure. Like you said,
the street word was stay away from him if you can. But this was a teacher who
then, with this kind of thing going on, with the word– you know, street word being stay
away from him– who took boys on trips, who slept in the
same bed with the boys, and who was allowed to
continue this kind of activity. CONNIE BEAUPRE: Mm-hmm. OPRAH WINFREY: Why? There’s a glitch in the
legal system, isn’t there? I think the scales of
justice were way tipped over. OPRAH WINFREY: If you’d
heard that your son was going to be sent on a trip with
him, would you have stopped it, done something about it? SHANE BEAUPRE: Oh,
most definitely, yes. I would’ve never allowed it. OPRAH WINFREY: You would
not have allowed it? No. But you knew he
was in his classroom? SHANE BEAUPRE: Mm-hmm. I think the biggest thing is,
is that the psychological grasp that this individual had and
the capability over this period of time, that he controlled
not only children, schools, society, legal systems,
the courthouse, all the way up to the state
capital in Montana. He had affiliations
with these individuals. OPRAH WINFREY: But
didn’t he control it because everybody kept quiet? Isn’t that why he
had the control? In general, yeah. But his psychological grab
that he had on everybody that people just didn’t
want to bring him down, or people just didn’t
want to believe it. OPRAH WINFREY: Yeah. They just know what
you’re saying isn’t right. OPRAH WINFREY: Yeah, because
even in some of the interviews, I was shocked to hear
people say things like, he’s a great teacher. He’s a pedophile, but
he’s a great teacher. SHANE BEAUPRE: I
don’t agree with that. CONNIE BEAUPRE: No. I think every move he
made was for his pedophile. CONNIE BEAUPRE: Yeah.
OPRAH WINFREY: Yeah. Whether his actions
were good or bad, I don’t think he ever did
a good thing in his life for a kid that wasn’t
with a motive there. OPRAH WINFREY: He did it,
you think– you think– to get next to the kids? SHANE BEAUPRE: Yes.

A Town’s Dirty Secret: Child Molestation in Montana | The Oprah Winfrey Show | Oprah Winfrey Network

25 thoughts on “A Town’s Dirty Secret: Child Molestation in Montana | The Oprah Winfrey Show | Oprah Winfrey Network

  • September 16, 2019 at 8:00 pm
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    Oprah!!!! Love this channel!!! Great job!!! ❤️❤️

    Reply
  • September 16, 2019 at 8:04 pm
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    I know this is serious but still: OLD TOWN ROAD

    Reply
  • September 16, 2019 at 8:07 pm
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    https://youtu.be/m8CCc0LNDeU click here

    Reply
  • September 16, 2019 at 8:13 pm
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    Before Brokeback Mountain

    Reply
  • September 16, 2019 at 8:19 pm
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    He feels guilt and shame because people know about him now…. not for what he’s done.

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  • September 16, 2019 at 8:20 pm
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    Not fair to have one man have this much power of fear over one community.

    Reply
  • September 16, 2019 at 8:25 pm
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    What accent was THAT Oprah? Hm?!

    Reply
  • September 16, 2019 at 8:34 pm
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    I'm still stuck on the 4 million pedophiles in the US.

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  • September 16, 2019 at 8:51 pm
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    Conservatives. It figures.

    Reply
  • September 16, 2019 at 10:28 pm
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    This is so horrible.

    Reply
  • September 16, 2019 at 11:27 pm
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    boulder? check out Great Falls. uck! jeeez

    Reply
  • September 16, 2019 at 11:53 pm
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    He put on his finest cowboy gear for this interview. He should have done that street justice as he said.

    Reply
  • September 17, 2019 at 12:29 am
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    God this makes me so damn ANGRY!!!

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  • September 17, 2019 at 1:09 am
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    This reminds me a little of the townspeople that took care of the town bully and nobody would talk. They got away with it. No one could be charged.

    Reply
  • September 17, 2019 at 1:17 am
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    He wouldn't let his son go on a trip yet allowed his son to be in his class. I don't believe him. He is only upset because his son went to the sheriff. Had his son gone to hin, he would have swept it under the rug.

    Reply
  • September 17, 2019 at 1:35 am
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    Immune from child molesters? Broke back mountain country. These men stole land from natives and raped horses. Shame.

    Reply
  • September 17, 2019 at 1:38 am
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    What???

    Reply
  • September 17, 2019 at 2:15 am
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    Even in the state of Utah there are child molesters. Some of the Mormon modern leaders are caught to be child molesters….there are still polygamy marriages with young teenagers & in the 1800s the Mormon founder: "Joseph Smith Jr." has relations with young teens…he "married" about 40 women & some were married!!! He had a real wife but she didn't know what he was doing until when she caught him having relations with a young teen in their barn. What a creep!!!

    Reply
  • September 17, 2019 at 3:10 am
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    W.t.h would you have this man anywhere near your child knowing he molested you as a child.That is child sexual endangerment .If you knew this man is a child molester.

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  • September 17, 2019 at 3:17 am
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    Pedophiles can be found everywhere. They can be the most unlikely of people.

    Reply
  • September 17, 2019 at 3:45 am
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    Even though it was just touching on the back and legs , this type of inappropriate touching is very traumatizing for children

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  • September 17, 2019 at 4:00 am
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    Why would you let your son go to his class. Hell no!

    Reply
  • September 17, 2019 at 5:00 am
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    White people always trying to act like everyone else is the problem.

    Reply
  • September 17, 2019 at 5:27 am
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    To be honest this man got off easy. Because in my opinion they should have set that man's house on fire with him in it.

    Reply

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