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Two Boy Scout leaders, accused of branding six members...

MOBERLY, Mo. -- Two Boy Scout leaders, accused of branding six members of their troop with a hot coat hanger during a weekend campout, Wednesday were bound over for formal arraignment on felony assault charges.

During their preliminary hearing, Scoutmaster J.B. Gatzmeyer, 37, and assistant scoutmaster Kenneth Willard, 19, were ordered to appear for arraignment Oct. 20.

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Gatzmeyer and Willard are free on $10,000 bond each.

'Evidence produced (during the preliminary hearing) indicated probable cause to believe an offense was committed on each boy,' said Richard J. Chamier, Randolph County associate circuit judge.

The two men each are charged with six counts of felony assault in connection with the branding of six Boy Scouts during a campout in Huntsville.

The boys claim Gatzmeyer sat on their legs while Willard applied a heated coat hanger, twisted into the shape of male genitalia. All six boys were branded on the buttocks, with one receiving brands on both arms.

The boys ranged in age from 12 to 15. A seventh boy, an 11-year-old Scout, refused to go along with it despite the leader's threat of castration.

The leader also reportedly told the scouts if they did not go along with the branding, they would be banned from future outings.

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After branding the boys, Gatzmeyer and Willard gave each other brands on the buttocks, the youths claim.

Gatzmeyer and Willard have been suspended by the Boy Scouts of America.

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