A national Boy Scouts executive was sentenced to a year’s probation and banned from entering all national parks in Arizona for illegally entering an archaeological site considered sacred by Native American, officials said Tuesday.
William Steele, 58, pleaded guilty in a Flagstaff federal court Friday to entering canyons at Canyon de Chelly National Monument in Northern Arizona without a guide and entering archaeological ruins, said Paul K. Charlton, the U.S. Attorney for Arizona. Steele, of Irving, Texas, is an associate director for the Cub Scout Division of the Boy Scouts of America.
In August 2005, Steele was seen entering Yuca Cave, which is considered sacred by both Navajo and Hopi Indians. While there were no reports of damage “the site is considered sacred, so just entering it is considered sacrilege,” said Wyn Hornbuckle, a spokesman for Charlton.