The names of nearly a dozen Queens men were listed in the Boy Scouts of America’s “perversion files,” according to attorneys from two law firms representing victims of sexual abuse.
The victim’s rights attorney, Jeff Anderson of Jeff Anderson Associates, claimed the Boy Scouts have kept files on child abusers in their ranks dating back to the 1940s.
“For many, many years there’s been an excavation of what are called the ‘perversion files.’ Those are filed and hoarded at the Boy Scouts of America headquarters,” Anderson said during a Manhattan press conference on April 23, adding that a professional retained by the BSA to review the case files found that there were 7,819 suspected perpetrators nationwide, while the number of victims total 12,254.
The Boy Scouts of America, based in Irving, Texas, said in a statement that they “care deeply about all victims of child sex abuse and sincerely apologize to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting.”
“We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to abuse innocent children,” the BSA statement added. “At no time have we ever knowingly allowed a sexual predator to work with youth, and we mandate that all leaders, volunteers and staff members nationwide immediately report any abuse allegations to law enforcement.”
A study of a database compiled by the Los Angeles Times that was created in 2012 appears to back up the BSA’s statement. The trove includes information on 5,000 men who were expelled from the BSA between 1947 and 2005 on suspicion of sexual abuse including several from Queens.
Samuel Fried was a customer relations professional from Flushing who was removed as Vice Chairman of District 8644 and as Assistant Scout Master of Troop 0216 in Bellerose after he was “arrested and charged with sexual abuse with a minor,” according to BSA documents.
Cal Diva, a bookkeeper from Jackson Heights, was arrested in 1960 “on moral charges with minor boys brought about by parents of Troop 135,” documents showed. Hans Pederson of Averne resigned in 1965 from Troop 389 in Rockaway Beach after he was confronted with allegations of child sexual abuse, as did John Montgomery, a film technician from Long Island City who was Scout Master of Troop 63 at The Steinway Reformed Church in Astoria in 1963.
In 1988, Thomas Porembeski, a janitor from Maspeth, was found guilty on charges sexual child abuse of scouts in upstate Schoharie County. A letter from the BSA Greater New York Council described the trouble it had uncovering court documents from the rural area and told Porembeski “we are compelled to request that you sever any relations you may have with the Boy Scouts of America.”
Other scout leaders from Queens, as identified by Jeff Anderson Associates, include Michael Boresch of Troop 29, Robert Methvin of Explorer 48, John Montgomery of Troop 53, Daniel Aviles of Pack 196 and Robert D’Amore of Troop 284. Files of each of them are not part of the L.A. Times database but they are pending.
Anderson is seeking full disclosure from the BSA.
“The bad news is that this is far from full disclosure,” he said. “We had to sound the alarm.”
Anderson added that New York’s new Child Victims Act — which was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo and allows victims to press civil charges against their alleged abusers before they reach 55 — takes effect in August.
“We could not wait until August to get this information out,” he said.