By Lisa Redmond
BOSTON -- One of the 45 Massachusetts residents listed as part of the newly released Boy Scout "perversion files" is a former Pepperell resident and Level 3 sex offender who is in prison serving time for his fourth child sex-assault conviction.
Due to an Oregon Supreme Court ruling, the Boy Scouts of America on Thursday released a list of 1,250 "ineligible volunteers" from across the country who were accused of child molestation as far back as 1965.
They were included in a database of national files -- comprising about 20,000 pages -- made public by Portland, Ore.-based law firm of O'Donnell, Clark & Crew LLP and attorney Paul Mones.
In response to the release of names, Laurie Myers, of the victim-advocates group Community Voices said, "We've all heard that it takes a village to raise a child, but this proves that the same holds true when it comes to victimizing children. The Boy Scouts were more interested in their own reputation than they were about protecting the children they were trusted with."
On the published list is Donn Kruger, of Pepperell, who was listed as an "ineligible volunteer" in 1983. Also listed as ineligible volunteers are Normand R. Harnois, of Lowell (1989); Steven A. Conti, of Burlington (1988); Alden R. Farrar, of Ayer, (1978); and the Rev. Walter N. Stone, of Fitchburg (1989).
According to the Mass. Sex Offender Registry, Kruger was convicted in 1982 of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14. In 1998, he was again convicted of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 and rape and abuse of a child.
Conti, 50, of Burlington, is a Level 3 sex offender convicted in 1989 of rape and abuse of a child, and two counts indecent assault and battery on a child, according to the Mass. Sex Offender Registry Board.
According to published reports from 1989, Stone was a Congregational minister in Fitchburg when he was charged with rape and sexual abuse involving children in his parish and in a Boy Scout troop at his church.
Stone, of the Rollstone Congregational Church, was sentenced to seven to 15 years in state prison after being convicted of eight counts of indecent assault and battery on a child. Two victims testified that Stone befriended them during church counseling and activities.
Harnois, 82, who currently lives in Springfield and is a Level 2 sex offender, said he was convicted in New Hampshire about 15 years ago of sexually assaulting a Scout during a camping trip. He was sentenced to four years in jail.
Harnois said he had no idea his case was part of the "perversion files," but does remember receiving a letter from the BSA telling him he couldn't volunteer anymore.
When reached for comment, Farrar, 78, who still lives in Ayer, said: "I'm not talking about any of that. I'm going in for open-heart surgery Monday and I don't need any more stress."
Farrar said he had top honors when he was in the Boy Scouts.
When asked if he had molested any Scouts, Farrar hung up the telephone.
Farrar was never charged.
In a July 28, 1978 letter from George Fraquair, Scout executive of the Nashua Valley BSA Council to the BSA Registration Service, Fraquair asked that Farrar be removed from the BSA and placed on the "confidential list."
Fraquair wrote, "He has admitted to a morals offense against one of our Scouts. The family, including the Scout, fortunately have decided not to prosecute."
In response to the release of the documents, National BSA President Wayne Perry released the following statement:
"There have been instances where people misused their positions in Scouting to abuse children, and in certain cases, our response to these incidents and our efforts to protect youth were plainly insufficient, inappropriate or wrong. Where those involved in Scouting failed to protect, or worse, inflicted harm on children, we extend our deepest apologies to victims and their families."
Currently, the Boy Scouts of America is a "leader among youth-serving organizations in preventing child abuse. The BSA requires background checks, comprehensive training programs for volunteers, staff, youth and parents and mandates reporting of even suspected abuse," Perry wrote.
Kruger, now 70, is serving a nine- to 10-year state prison sentence for a 2005 conviction for indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, plus two years on a probation violation.
As part of the sentence, Kruger will be on community lifetime parole when he is released.
In 2007, the state Appeals Court rejected Kruger's appeal to overturn his fourth child-molestation conviction for molesting an 8-year-old girl in his own home.
Kruger was convicted of molesting an 8-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl, both former neighbors, in 1996 and another 6-year-old girl in 1982. He was given a 2 1/2-year suspended sentence and placed on probation in the 1982 case. He served his probation without incident and never served jail time.
In the 1996 case, Kruger was sentenced to nearly four years in state prison followed by 10 years probation, which began in 2000. He was on probation last August when he was arrested and charged with molesting the 8-year-old girl in this case.
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