Bikers Against Child Abuse

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Bikers Against Child Abuse
MottoKeepers of the Children, One BACA
Founded1995; 24 years ago (1995)
LocationProvo, Utah, USA
FounderJohn Paul “Chief” Lilly, Horace Montoya, Mark “Ogre” Birchette
LeaderJohn Paul “Chief” Lilly
Leader titlePresident
TypeNon profit
PurposeChild welfare

Bikers Against Child Abuse International (BACA, or B.A.C.A.) is a worldwide organization, comprised of local chapters, whose purpose is to prevent child abuse, and to empower formerly abused children. The biker organization was formed in 1995 by John Paul “Chief” Lilly in Provo, Utah. BACA is also a tax-exempt, non-profit organization.


The idea to found BACA was Chief's, but he asked a few others to start the organization with him: Horace Montoya, the former president of Sun Downers motorcycle club, and Mark “Ogre” Birchette, a retired Army Ranger.[1][2]

The organization states that it "exists with the intent to create a safer environment for abused children."[3]

Lilly stated “My goal is to make it so there’s a BACA chapter in every neighborhood.”[4]

How the Organization Works[edit]

The parents or guardians of victims of abuse are the ones who first contact BACA, but they also get referrals from other agencies, such as child welfare offices, therapists, the police, and clergy. When parents or guardians contact the club, they first confirm that the authorities have been informed about crimes, alleged crimes and abuse before meeting with the family in order to see what the situation is and if it is something they can get involved with. They do not get involved with marital disputes.[5] [6][7]

The BACA chapter members "adopt" the child they have sworn to protect, making the child a member of their club. They do this with the aim of developing an "extended family" with the child and his or her parent(s) or guardian(s).[8]

External video
How Do Bikers Unite Against Child Abuse and Empower Children? - Badd Bob - TEDxCincinnati

After contact is established, two bikers — one male, and one female — who may or may not live near to the child, act as primary contacts for the child and their family. The two bikers then visit the family in the two months after first contact on an ongoing basis and notify the BACA child liaison of any specific needs the child might have.[6] The members may also attend court proceedings for the children or escort them to school or errands.[9]

BACA members may escort children to court only if a judge permits it.[10]

According to the organization, the members can help the child's legal guardians to navigate the child-welfare system and how to file different legal documents such as restraining orders and guardianship documents.[7]

A statement given by North Wasatch chapter security officer "Ish," describes in short, their philosophy: “B.A.C.A. is kind of like barbed wire, Stay the (expletive) away from us, stay the (expletive) away from our kids, you’ll probably be OK. You get too close, you’re gonna get tore the (expletive) up.” [11]

Program evaluation[edit]

The only study of the BACA program was self-published by one of the group’s founders, Lilly, and one other member of the group, Dee C Ray. [12][13]

Lilly, claims he has support from the four largest biker gangs in the United States, the Bandidos, the Hells Angels, the Pagans and the Outlaws.[14]

President of the Staten Island chapter, "Popeye," made references to the study in 2016, before its publication, calling it a preliminary study from 2014. [15]

The BACA study states, “Although we are cautious in interpreting causation due to the nature of single group design, it is evident that child emotional and behavioral improvement occurred during the time that children were involved in BACA intervention. However, it should be noted improvement also correlated with children’s temporal distance from the crisis situation.”[16]

Fundraising for BACA in Katwijk, the Netherlands, 2010.


The 100 Mile Ride is the organization's annual fundraising event. Any biker is welcome to join this ride (there is a $15 registration fee).[17]

Each year, some BACA Chapters hold balloon release events for Child Abuse Awareness Month.[18][19][20][21]


"B.A.C.A is made up of various members from all walks of life who love their country, their bikes, their kids and share the common bond of motorcycling and a yearning in their hearts to help children" (Hernandez).[22]

"The group is made up of bikers from all walks of life — truck drivers, mechanics, doctors and lawyers" (Yogaretnam). [23][24][25]

Each member undergoes 40–50 hours of training to better help support victims.[26]

Those wishing to be involved with BACA must first be a supporter in good standing for a minimum of 1 year. Before becoming a supporter a person must be at least 18 years of age, be fingerprinted and have an extensive background check performed according to federal[1] and local laws and customs and must own or have access to a motorcycle. Disqualifying events include convictions for domestic violence and child abuse.[27]


Each chapter of BACA uses a standard hierarchy: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Sergeant at Arms, and Child Liaison.

BACA is a U.S. Registered non-profit, 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization as designated by the Internal Revenue Service.[28]

Former members[edit]

On March 18, 2009, the Cyber Crime Unit of the Texas Attorney General's office announced that David Wayne Garvey, a member of BACA in Houston, had been arrested for possession of child pornography. Upon being notified of his arrest, the Houston chapter revoked Garvey's membership.[29][30][31][32][33][34][35] Garvey was sentenced on March 29, 2011, to 20 years on four counts of “Possession with intent promote child pornography”, Texas Penal Code 43.26(e).[36][37][38]

Two members of the Sam Bass chapter of BACA in Round Rock, Texas, Daniel Rodriguez and his wife Shirley Ann Rodriguez, were arrested on July 18, 2018, for 23 counts of abusing foster children in their care, including indecency with a child and injury to a child.[39][40][41][42] The Sam Bass chapter revoked the memberships for both Daniel and Shirley Ann Rodriguez upon learning of the arrests.[43]

Oklahoma BACA member Richard David West, 41, was arrested July 10, 2019 and charged with Lewd of Indecent Acts or Proposals to a Child Under 16. Pottawatomie County District Attorney Allan Grubb said he became aware of the crimes through one of his investigators. Grubb stated “That's where she met this man, who was introduced to her as someone she could trust. He came as a position of protection for her. Then he ended up becoming her abuser.” West was found to have photos and videos of the 15 year old victim who was introduced to him when she was 12 years old through the BACA referral. [44][45]


On April 10, 2004, several members of BACA arrived at victims home upon the request of the child’s mother. The child’s abuser lived next door and it was stated that BACA members revved their engines and pointed at the perpetrator’s house, the article states most of the BACA members didn’t know the perpetrator lived next door. The police were called and roughly 20 officers showed up. This incident escalated with accusations that the Payson police would start following them any time they would be seen driving around town. [46]

In June 2000, while awaiting his next court hearing, Chris Gardner, was tricked by five men to enter Kiwanis Park in Provo where he was severely beaten causing facial bruising and a broken nose. Garner would later be able to identify one of his assailants at one of his hearings as Utah BACA President Chris Clark.

Security Officer Coach stated that in some instances, Judges will require BACA members to remove their “cuts” in the courtroom or limit their numbers.[47]

A Notable Confrontation[edit]

Actress Jan Broberg Felt who was kidnapped twice as a child by Robert Ersol Berchtold and who is the topic of the Netflix film Abducted in Plain Sight, was at a speaking engagement with her mother at the Dixie State College in St. George, Utah for the annual Women’s Conference. Fifteen members of BACA escorted Broberg and offered their services as security after Berchtold made threats if she insisted on speaking about her tell all book, “Stolen Innocence: The Jan Broberg Story.” [48]

That morning around 10:30, Berchtold drove up to the conference and asked BACA member Les Watson to hand out some literature. After Watson refused and told other BACA members to call the police, Berchtold revved his engine and drove into Watson. Upon being struck, Watson clung to the van’s hood for about 100 feet, until Berchtold brandished a gun at which point he jumped off. Watson subsequently suffered back and leg injuries.

A witness was able to provide the van’s license plate number. [49] Berchtold was initially released on $970 bail, but it was then increased to $19,250 after he was charged.[50]

See Also[edit]

Comparing BACA To Other Similar Biker Organizations Involved In Child Abuse Protection
Organization Name Year Established Founded In Operates In MC Style Hierarchy Charity Status Has Creed Holds Events Use of Colors Use of Aliases Claims to be Law Abiding
Templars Against Child Abuse 1985 Denmark Worldwide Yes Non Profit N/A Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bikers Against Child Abuse 1995 USA Worldwide Yes 501© 3 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Punishers Law Enforcement MC 1999 USA Worldwide N/A Non Profit N/A Yes Yes Yes Yes
Enforcers Law Enforcement MC 2001 USA North America N/A N/A Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bikers United Against Child Abuse 2001 Australia Australia N/A N/A Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Guardians Of the Children 2006 USA North America Yes 501 © 3 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gargoyles, Protectors Of Children MC 2009 USA USA N/A Non Profit No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bikers Against Bullies 2012 USA Worldwide No Non Profit Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes



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External links[edit]