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#85325 - 07/17/03 12:03 AM What's wrong with this story?
Don-NY Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 546
Loc: Long Island, NY
To repeat what I mentioned in another thread, this story saddens and bothers me.

I feel that it is incomplete, but it is the actions of the adults in this story that bother me the most. This all happened last summer.

Here's the full article.
******************************************

Suffolk Scouts Sued for $10M
Family alleges son sexually abused




By Samuel Bruchey
STAFF WRITER

July 16, 2003

A West Babylon family filed a $10-million lawsuit yesterday against the Suffolk County Boy Scouts alleging that last summer their disabled teenage son was repeatedly sexually abused while working at a camp in Baiting Hollow by a fellow junior counselor.

After learning of the abuse, the family made efforts to notify camp and county Boy Scout officials, certain they would reprimand the abuser and implement safeguards to protect other children.

A year later, the family says the only decisive action taken by Boy Scout officials, who deny any abuse occurred, came in August. That's when officials fired several counselors, including the alleged abuser, after empty beer cans were found in the woods. Their son resigned before he could have been fired.

"That was their way of washing their hands clean of the problem," the teen's mother said.

"This is an institution that is supposed to protect and care for the boys who come under its care," said the boys's attorney, Seth Harris of Manhattan. "They turned their back on him, and pretended the abuse never happened."

Ken D'Apice, president of the Suffolk County Boy Scout Council in Medford, said the alleged abuser was fired in connection with the underage drinking incident, but denied any connection between the drinking and the allegations of sexual abuse.

D'Apice said the abuse allegations, detailed in a handwritten letter from the boy, were investigated thoroughly by a three-member committee, consisting of experts in juvenile law and juvenile issues. After collecting evidence and interviewing "every person who could possibly provide information," the committee concluded there was no incident of sexual abuse.

Lt. Richard Boden of the Riverhead police department, which has jurisdiction over Baiting Hollow, said his department was never notified of the allegations.

As troubling as the allegations were to the boy's family, they said they chose not to contact police because they had faith that Boy Scout officials would take action on their son's behalf. "We believed in scouting almost as a religion," said the teen's father, a former Boy Scout himself, who founded his son's troop through their church. "We believed all we had to do was to tell the right people."

The alleged abuse took place between June 20 and Aug. 1 last year. That July, the teenager insisted on writing D'Apice directly. His letter describes the abuse, which, he said, took place inside Tuocs cabin, where he and the alleged abuser lived with several other junior counselors. Tuocs is separated from the camp's other cabins by a steep hill, the family said.

"He verbally assaults people and tries to make them relieve him orally or with their hands," the letter states. "I am not the only one receiving this and I am not the only one witnessing this."

In an interview with a reporter, the teenager, whom Newsday is not identifying because of the type of alleged incident, said he always rebuffed the advances. At first he "thought he [the alleged abuser] was just being a jerk" and viewed his behavior as an unwelcome prank. After the summer, however, the abuse weighed heavily on him. "I felt almost frozen because I couldn't seem to do what I used to do. Everything just stopped," he said last week at home.

He graduated from high school, but just barely, his family said. Since then, the teen, who was speech-delayed as a child and still has difficulty processing what people say to him, has been diagnosed with depression, meets regularly with a psychiatrist and is taking prescribed anti-depressant medication.

The incident, too, has tarnished his faith in what for years had been the family's shared passion. His father was a scout until he was 16. His younger sister once wrote letters to national scout leaders, lobbying for girls to be allowed membership.

"I don't want to have anything to do with it anymore," the teenager said.

His last act with the organization was in September when he became an Eagle Scout, a ceremony his mother called "beautiful but hollow." Still hopeful that officials would take action on his claims, the teenager invited D'Apice to attend the ceremony, held in the basement of their church in West Babylon.

D'Apice did not attend, but sent a copy of the Eagle Scout Challenge handbook. The package came with a letter congratulating him on his achievement and reminding him "of the responsibilities which are now yours."
Copyright 2003, Newsday, Inc.

_________________________
If you understand everything, some things are just as they are. If you understand nothing, things are still just as they are.

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#85326 - 07/17/03 11:22 PM Re: What's wrong with this story?
orodo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/15/02
Posts: 735
Loc: Imladris, The Safe Haven of Ar...
Parents must be educated to contact someone other than the alleged perp. I am part of a committee that is developing a model to share with the general public that there are certain individuals who are mandated reporters of SA, and certain departments of government that are required to gather the information. IMHO, it is never the appropriate approach to confront the source of the SA or the employer of the perp, no matter what the institution might be. Institutionally mandated and covered up abuse is just that, covered up. Perhaps someday legislation will be passed that will require that institutions be held equally accountable for the actions of their employees against the innocence of a child. The current laws allow for institutions to generally "circle the wagons" and try to solve the problems on their own. The Institutions want to protect their own, and their reputation, and their SOURCES OF FUNDING. Should a school, a Boy Scout District, a YMCA, a child daycare, or religious institution be found to be harboring a fugitive and attempting to cover up alleged SA, then their funding sources will dry up. So, IMHO, for the institution, it boils down to money. If one were to sexually harass a co-worker at work, what would happen? The individual would be fired, charged, and the adult co-worker/victim would be taken care of. WHY does it have to be different with our children?

enuff of me...sry...just my opinions...to which i believe I am entitled. Sry if i offend anyone, but it feels good to get this off my chest. I was an Eagle Scout, and it causes me great pain to read about this kind of shit. Institutionally condoned abuse is wrong, and we need a hero to help.

Orodo

_________________________
It is better to be Dragon Master than Dragon Slayer. Some Dragons are meant to be mastered, others meant to be slain. Odin, Great Spirit, God, grant me the wisdom to know the difference. "May the Valar guide and bless you on your path under the sky"

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#85327 - 07/18/03 07:59 PM Re: What's wrong with this story?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Orodo
you sure as hell haven't offended me !

Thank you for your efforts, I don't care which side of the Atlantic the effort is being made, it has got to be done.

How many of us suffered more abuse than was already done to us because some "jobsworth" thought more of their school, religion or organization than the children they were entrusted with ?

If my arms were long enough I'd shake your hand, continue the fight Marc, if it saves one child your efforts are worth it.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
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#85328 - 07/19/03 04:23 PM Re: What's wrong with this story?
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Hi Orodo,

It is great to hear from you and to see what you are working on.

100% agree. It is worse than a waste of time, to think that any group that has to rely on funding, or even success in business, will actually be open and responsible to victims.
Contact the police first--or maybe your lawyer first, to have legal advice so that there is no possibility of any cover up.

Don,

The story is one that is really difficult for me. I was abused at the BSA campouts. So any story of a boy being abused on camp outs brings back memories I would wish would go away.

The fact that this boy is handicapped some, makes it all the worse. I think that CSA is a victim of multi-million dollar lawsuits for the coffee being hot. People in charge of the coffers are so afraid of enormous $$awards, that they can't think clearly. At least, I hope it is a matter of not thinking clearly. But in truth, I suspect clear thinking has nothing to do with it. When it comes to boys, I am convinced, that it is almost impossible, to think of the boy as not a willing accomplice. At least after the age of 4 or 5. People are a good deal dumber than I had thought. Where the hell people have gotten the idea, that all boys do is fool around sexually with each other, is beyond me. But I sure hear that a lot. Especially, when a boy is 10 or over, always if a teen, people just can't comprehend that the boy didn't want it and changed his mind in mid action.

My reaction to these kinds of statements is getting to me more and more, a desire to physically beat sense into the person, male or female, who makes such a statement.

Not a whole lot of honor among the adults in this boys life.

Bob

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If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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