‘perversion Files’ Name Four Scout Officials in R.I.
October 20, 2012
|Portland attorney Kelly Clark examines some of the 14,500 pages of previously confidential documents created by the Boy Scouts of America concerning child sexual abuse within the organization on Thursday.|
The newly released Boy Scouts “perversion files” name several former Scout officials in Rhode Island, including one expelled from the organization in the 1970s after being accused of forcing a boy to perform a sex act on him.
The 14,500 pages of files, released Thursday, show that William Lazzareschi was expelled from his Providence troop in 1971 after a Scout leader said he saw a 12-year-old performing oral sex on him behind a tent at Yawgoog Scout Reservation. The boy later said “Mr. Lazzareschi made me do it to him,” according to a letter from the assistant reservation director to the head of the Narragansett Council.
It appears that authorities were not notified. The letter indicates that a Scout chaplain, the Rev. Edmond Micarelli, recommended the boy’s parents not be told. It said the boy was “counseled” by Micarelli with “positive results.”
Lazzareschi pleaded no contest in 1997 to second-degree sexual assault and in 2005 to possession of child pornography, according to court records. He later pleaded no contest to failing to register as a sex offender. The sex offender registry lists him as having a Pawtucket address. A current telephone listing for him could not be found.
Micarelli, the chaplain, was later accused of sexual abuse himself. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence in 2002 settled lawsuits against him and 10 other priests for $13.5 million. A message left for Micarelli at his Florida home was not immediately returned.
Yawgoog, in Hopkinton, is the nation’s third oldest Boy Scout camp and hosts more than 6,000 boys every summer.
John Mosby, scout executive and CEO of the Narragansett Council, said in a statement Friday that even a single instance of abuse is unacceptable and that he is troubled by the decades-old allegations contained in the files. In a letter to Scout leaders and parents Friday, Mosby said the organization now has rigorous policies in place to protect Scouts, including background checks on volunteers and other training programs.
“Going forward, I am personally committed, along with every other adult on the Scouting team, to make certain that our approach to protecting our youth continues to evolve with the best practices for protecting youth,” he wrote.
The so-called perversion files, compiled by the Boy Scouts from 1959 to the mid-1980s, show that local Boy Scout leaders, police, prosecutors and public officials in many cases helped cover up sexual abuse allegations against scoutmasters and other volunteers. Many of the allegations are unsubstantiated.
The files name other Scout leaders in Rhode Island in the 1960s, including one formerly with troops in Central Falls and Pawtucket “implicated in acts of perversions with boys” and another in Woonsocket who was said to have had relationships with at least four Scouts. It is not clear whether those individuals were ever charged.