Poughkeepsie Man Opens Up About Sexual Abuse By Boy Scout Leader
A Poughkeepsie man says he still has scars decades after being abused by a trusted scoutmaster.
In an emotional interview with NOLA.com, Raymond Luna from Poughkeepsie recalled the shame and fear he felt as a teenager after he says he was molested by his boy scout leader. Luna and others have decided to reveal details about their abuse to let other victims know that it's not their fault.
Luna says that he was the child of a single parent when a scoutmaster targeted him for abuse. The Poughkeepsie man says that his scoutmaster went out of his way to befriend single mothers, recruiting their children for the Boy Scouts. After becoming a scout and spending time at the man's house, Luna says he and the other children were molested.
Like many other children who feel a sense of blame for what happened to them, Luna says he never reported the abuse. Instead, he turned to drugs and alcohol to escape the memories of his trusted scout leader. Even during his 26-year marriage, Luna says he never even told his wife about the abuse.
Now the owner of a fire-alarm installation company in Poughkeepsie, Luna says that therapy allowed him to finally accept that he was the victim of a crime and not responsible for what happened to him as a child.
Several names of scout leaders in the Hudson Valley were recently released to the public as a part of the Boy Scout's "perversion files." Lawyers say the list kept by the Boy Scouts of America proves that they knew about systemic abuse in their organization but failed to do enough to protect children.
Luna's scoutmaster was listed in the files after being arrested for abusing a 12-year-old in 1964. Even after his arrest, the leader was welcomed back into scouting in New York City where Luna became a member of his pack. The Poughkeepsie man says "The BSA needs to know how much pain the abuse caused me and so many others."
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