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Entries in Camp Good News (3)

Friday
Apr082011

Camp Loses Accreditation After Abuse Allegations, Employee's Suicide

TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images(SANDWICH, Mass.) -- Camp Good News, the Cape Cod summer camp at the center of a sexual abuse scandal, has just lost its accreditation with the American Camp Association. This latest news comes on the heels of new sexual abuse allegations by former campers.

A total of five men and one woman have now come forward with stories of being sexually abused while at the camp. On Wednesday, a former long-time maintenance worker at the camp, Charles Devita, shot himself in the head on camp property. Devita was reportedly the target of some of those sexual abuse allegations.

It's been all bad news for Camp Good News since February, when Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown wrote in his book Against All Odds that he had been abused as boy at a summer camp.

That summer camp is widely believed to be Camp Good News. Brown said the abuse happened more than once when he was at summer camp and that his abuser threatened to kill him if he told anyone. Brown has also said he is not interested in pursuing any charges against his alleged abuser or the camp. Officials for Camp Good News confirmed Brown was a camper there and issued a letter of apology to the senator.

The camp has been accredited with the American Camping Association since 1959. According to ACA officials, there have been no past complaints against the camp and it was last inspected in 2009.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr062011

Body Found at Camp Where Sen. Brown Alleged He Was Molested

Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images(SANDWICH, Mass.) -- The body of a man who committed suicide was found Wednesday at the summer camp where U.S. Sen. Scott Brown said he was sexually abused as a child.

The body was discovered shortly after police confirmed they were launching an investigation into complaints by a second man who came forward to say he had also been molested at the camp when he was a 10-year-old boy back in 1985.

A heavy police presence was seen at Camp Good News in the town of Sandwich on Cape Cod, Mass., at about 10:34 a.m., according to ABCNews' Boston affiliate WCVB-TV. Massachusetts State Police released few details about the death.

Massachusetts State Police Sgt. Matthew Murray told ABC News the body was that of a man who was "an apparent suicide by gunshot wound."

Brown, a Republican, revealed earlier this year that he was abused at Camp Good News in Sandwich. He wrote about it in a book entitled Against All Odds.

Brown's office had no comment Wednesday.

The Cape and Island's District Attorney's office launched an investigation this week into an allegation that the former 10-year-old camper was molested by an employee who still works at the camp.

"My first reaction was, 'Is it the alleged perpetrator?,'" said Mitchell Garabedian, the lawyer representing the man, who was not identified. Garabedian said his client is also wondering who the deceased may be.

"We don't know," Garabedian said. He said only camp workers would likely be there at this time of year, where they live year-round in cabins. Students are only on sight in the summer for camp. The man who allegedly abused his client has been referred to as either a counselor or an assistant director.

Garabedian said earlier this week that his client "was inspired to come forward because Scott Brown came forward. He felt empowered."

Garabedian said the former camper, who is now an adult, came to him two weeks ago and disclosed that he had been abused when he was a camper more than 25 years ago by a counselor or assistant director. The lawyer took the allegations to the Barnstable County District Attorney's office which has promised to investigate.

A Massachusetts state trooper called Garabedian's office Tuesday looking to get in touch with the victim. Garabedian said that his client would "fully cooperate" with any investigation because "he wants to make the world a safer place for children."

Garabedian described the complainant on Tuesday as a single man living in the Boston area. Garabedian said, "He is in a lot of emotional pain, but now that he has come forward my client feels as though a great weight has been lifted." 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr052011

Sexually Abused Senator's Story Inspires Former Camper to Come Forward

Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Image(BOSTON) -- Prosecutors have launched an investigation into a a second case of alleged sexual abuse at the summer camp where Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown was sexually molested as a child.

The investigation began after a second former camper, encouraged by Brown's admission, has revealed to his lawyer that he was also sexually abused at Camp Good News, the summer camp Brown attended as a child.

"He was inspired to come forward because Scott Brown came forward. He felt empowered," said Mitchell Garabedian, the lawyer representing the man, who was not identified.

Garabedian said the former camper, who is now an adult, came to him two weeks ago and disclosed that when he was a 10-year-old summer camper in 1985 a counselor or assistant director had allegedly abused him. The lawyer took the allegations to the Barnstable County District Attorney's office, which has promised to investigate.

A Massachusetts state trooper called Garabedian's office Tuesday looking to get in touch with the victim. Garabedian confirmed that his client will "fully cooperate" with any investigation because "he wants to make the world a safer place for children."

Garabedian described the complainant as a single man living in the Boston area. Garabedian said, "He is in a lot of emotional pain, but now that he has come forward my client feels as though a great weight has been lifted."

According to the D.A.'s office, after the Massachusetts State Police have finished their investigation, the report will go to the D.A.'s office for review. It may be difficult for the district attorney's office to proceed with the case. The statute of limitations on sexual abuse charges in Massachusetts varies with the kind of abuse that occurred. However, any incident that occurred more than 27 years ago needs to have some corroborating evidence in addition to the victim's statement in order to prosecute the case.

Brown, a Republican, disclosed an account of his abuse at the same summer camp in his recently published book Against All Odds. Brown said the abuse happened more than once when he was a summer camper at Camp Good News and that his abuser threatened to kill him if he told anyone. Brown has also said he is not interested in pursuing any charges against his alleged abuser or the camp.

Calls to Camp Good News were not returned Tuesday, although in a previously released statement the camp has said it is shocked by the news that one of its counselors may have harmed a camper in this way. The camp has also said it conducts full background checks on all of its employees.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 







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