R.I. Individuals on Boy Scouts" List of Those Suspected of Sex Abuse
By Richard C. Dujardin
October 18, 2012
A newly-released trove of confidential papers collected by the Boy Scouts of America to help weed out men and women suspected of sexual abuse shows that over decades Scout leaders in Rhode Island expelled at least 47 individuals who were placed on their "ineligible volunteer list."
The 14,500 pages of secret files were ordered released Thursday by the Oregon Supreme Court.
Although nearly all names of suspected individuals were redacted before being released, the records show that those listed in Rhode Island had been dropped from the rolls or denied participation in at least 52 Scout packs or troops statewide over several decades until early 2005.
Two names left unredacted belong to men who would later face accusations of sexual abuse: the Rev. Edmond C. Micarelli, a chaplain at the Camp Yawgoog Boy Scout reservation in Hopkinton during the 1970s, and William Lazzareschi, who was an assistant scoutmaster for Troop 22 in Providence.
Lazzareschi, who was never charged in connection with the alleged abuse involving Scouts, would become known as a sexual predator after he was convicted of second-degree sexual assault in 1994 for putting his hand in a boy's pants. In 2004, police arrested Lazzareschi on charges of child pornography after searching his computer. He is currently listed on the R.I. sex offender registry as living in Pawtucket.
In 1990, another former Scout filed an affidavit accusing Micarelli, by then 67 and retired, of raping him at a private residence on the Yawgoog reservation in 1971, and of abusing his brother. Scout officials immediately placed Micarelli on the ineligible volunteer list but apparently did not report the incident to police.
Though never charged, the priest, who reportedly now lives in Florida, figured in the Diocese of Providence's clergy sexual-abuse scandal. In 2002 the diocese paid $13.5 million to 36 victims who sued Micarelli and 10 other priests for alleged sexual abuse dating back to 1975.
David Preston, a spokesman for the Scouts' Narragansett Council, said Thursday that there were many things that the Scouts should have done, but didn't, in those earlier times, "but that was a long time ago."
Today, he said, the Boy Scouts are seen as a "model" for the nation in creating a system of background checks and mandatory reports to the police should any suspected sexual abuse occur.