April 12, 2022

USA: Former Boy Scouts Troop Leader From El Paso, Texas Arrested For Raping Minor Boy 20 To 30 Times Over 5 Year Period. Abuse Began When The Victim Was 11-Years Old.

KRDO NewsChannel 13 published March 23, 2022: Texas man booked in El Paso County Jail after allegedly molesting minor in Colorado Springs.

KRDO13 News, El Paso local
written by Dan Beedie
Wednesday March 23, 2022

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. -- 13 Investigates has learned a former Texas Boy Scout Leader has been arrested after being accused of molesting a boy in El Paso County.

50-year old Anthony Lee Fruzia is currently booked in the Criminal Justice Center in El Paso County for two felony-level charges -- sexual assault of a minor under the age of 15 and sexual assault of a child.

According to the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office, Anthony Lee Fruzia was arrested in Denton County, Texas on February 22 and booked in El Paso County on March 14.

“Thank god that I didn’t have a gun. Thank god I have the sense of mind to go after him legally,” James Logan, the man who reported Fruzia to authorities in January, told 13 Investigates.

Logan says the abuse occurred in December in a Colorado Springs hotel. The Colorado Springs man says he used to consider the Texas man accused of molesting a child a "close family friend."

Logan is worried the punishment in the case won't fit the crime.

“I want this information out there because (investigators) told me there is a chance he might just get probation," Logan said. "Yeah he’ll be a sex offender and all that, but he is not off the streets.”

According to a lawsuit filed in US District Court in 2020, an anonymous victim accuses Fruzia of molesting him 20 to 30 times over five years starting in 1991. The alleged abuse began when the victim was 11-years old, and Fruzia was his boy scouts' assistant troop leader.

The lawsuit, filed by the law firm Zuckerman Spaeder LLC, represents eight separate anonymous victims of alleged abuse during their time with the Boy Scouts of America. The suit claims Boy Scouts of America assisted, enabled, and was complicit in the sexual abuse of the victims.

13 Investigates reached out to the Boy Scouts America regarding Fruzia, we have yet to hear back.

Fruzia is currently being held in the El Paso County jail on a $10,000 bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for April 26.

WFAA published April 23, 2019: 7,800 Boy Scout leaders suspected of abuse. Shocking allegations against the Boy Scouts of America after an expert who worked with the Irving based organization revealed Tuesday that there may have been nearly 8,000 Scout Leaders or Volunteers accused of sexual abuse nationally, dating back to 1944. 
NBC News published May 21, 2021: Former Boy Scouts Speak Out On Sexual Abuse Claims, Bankruptcy Case. Former Boy Scouts share their story as the hearing on the 85 thousand of sexual abuse claims against the Boy Scouts of America begins.

NY Daily News
written by Esha Ray
Monday January 6, 2020

The Boy Scouts, an organization built around the ideal of instilling high moral standards in young boys, for decades hid the number of predator pedophiles it had in its ranks and pressured abuse victims from speaking out, according to a federal lawsuit filed Monday.

The 43-page complaint, filed in Washington, D.C., details the stories of eight men who all claim they were sexually assaulted by scout leaders as children, while other adults turned a blind eye.

The suit, which accuses the Boy Scouts of negligence and fraudulent misrepresentation, is the first to be filed in a federal court. Thousands of scout leaders have been accused of abuse in various states in recent years.

The federal case says the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) acted against its own moral teachings by protecting the abusers instead of standing up for its young members.

“BSA was not trustworthy," the complaint says, referring to one of the Scouts’ tenets. “It broke its most basic promise to boys — that they would be safe in the care of BSA leaders. BSA was not kind. It allowed BSA troops to be infested by pedophiles who sexually abused innocent boys, harming them for life.”

The eight anonymous men are represented by Abused in Scouting, a cohort of law firms that joined forces last February to address the growing number of victims seeking justice.

Many childhood sex abuse victims are barred from filing legal claims by statutes of limitations, which differ from state to state.

Lawyers said they specifically chose survivors whose legal options have timed out to illustrate how absurd it is to treat victims differently based on the state where they live.

“It’s not the Boy Scouts of Nebraska or the Boy Scouts of Texas — it’s the Boy Scouts of America. It’s a national organization that knew about these problems on a national level,” said lawyer Aitan Goelman.

David Henson was 11 years old when assistant scout leader Anthony Lee Fruzia of Troop 191 in Lake Dallas, Texas, began abusing him, according to the complaint.

Although Henson is not named in the suit, he was willing to share his name with the Daily News.

“I remember there was one campout, and I remember waking up in the tent in the dark and his hands were on me, in my private areas,” Henson, now 39, told The News. “He rolled me over and once I’m on my stomach, he’s on my back, and he goes to penetrate. That was the first time.

“I would sit in the dark in a pit of confusion and fear and despair.”

Another adult at the troop knew what was happening, but kept quiet, the complaint alleges. After five years of trauma, Henson quit the Scouts. Around 2012, he told his parents the truth.

“I can hardly stand to camp now ... the discomfort that it causes me, and the anxiety that it causes me, it’s exhausting,” said Henson. “It’s been ruined for me. I don’t even like to pass the Boy Scouts when they’re selling popcorn outside the grocery store.”

Henson’s alleged abuser did not respond to The News’ request for comments. Fruzia’s father, reached by phone, confirmed his son was part of a number of Boy Scout troops over the years, but didn’t recall his time at Troop 191.

A second plaintiff, who asked to remain anonymous, said his alleged abuser, George Cooper, an assistant scoutmaster at Troop 307 in Gainesville, Fla., would engage him in lengthy discussions to try to convince the boy that it was OK to be fondled.

“I do remember he tried to talk through it, to gain acceptance on my end,” said the now 38-year-old victim, who works in Colorado as a health care consultant. “He was like, ‘Well why not?’ And when you’re a kid, it’s hard to verbalize why not.”

Cooper did not return a request for comment. He never faced charges as a Boy Scout leader, according to the complaint.

He was later convicted in 1998 of lewd conduct for preying on a boy on his Little League team, and is now a registered sex offender in Florida, state records show.

Despite his sex offender status, Cooper doesn’t appear in the Boy Scouts’ “ineligible volunteer files” of suspected child molesters, according to plaintiff lawyers.

“The fact that they still don’t have him on their list is very, very troubling,” said the plaintiff.

In a lengthy statement emailed to The News, BSA said it is committed to fairly compensating all abuse victims and has a “multi-layered” process to safeguard its members, as well as counseling and outreach services available to those who want it.

“We care deeply about all victims of child 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 program to abuse innocent children. We believe victims, we support them, we pay for counseling by a provider of their choice and we encourage them to come forward,” the statement said.

The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages “for physical, mental, and emotional injuries resulting from the acts and omissions of BSA" as well as relief for medical expenses and lost earnings.

Goelman hopes the suit will be successful and set a precedent for any organization that fails to protect abuse victims — and open the door for those who have been barred by law from seeking justice.

“We want to change institutional behavior," he said. “We are hopeful that this case is the tip of the spear.”
FOX8 WGHP published March 2, 2022: Several Triad churches named in lawsuits related to Boy Scouts sexual abuse investigation.

FOX8 WGHP News, Greensboro local
written by Dolan Reynolds
Wednesday March 2, 2022

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Several Triad churches have been named in lawsuits related to an investigation into sexual abuse that allegedly happened in the mid-80s.

The investigation is connected to the Boy Scouts of America, and the churches reportedly served as sponsors and meeting places for scout troops.

Two lawsuits were filed in Guilford County Superior Court at the end of 2021.

The first suit alleges that a now 49-year-old man was in the Boy Scouts and was sexually abused when he was a minor by a scout leader.

The suit says the troop met at First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, so the church is named as a defendant alongside the Old North State Council, a local council of the Boy Scouts of America, which is based in Greensboro.

The suit goes on to say First Presbyterian organized outings for the troop, including activities and events like camping trips and merit badge activities.

A second suit names:
  • First Presbyterian of High Point
  • Old North State Council
  • Congregational United Church of Christ in Greensboro
  • Salem Presbytery
  • Mebane United Methodist Church
  • Baptist Children’s Home
The suit lists the plaintiffs as “John Does…number one through ten.” Those plaintiffs were all born between 1955 and 1986.

All of them allege to have been victims of one or more criminal sex acts by a scout leader, youth leader or Boy Scout camp personnel.

FOX8 has reached out to all of the other local defendants for comment as well, and more in-depth reports are forthcoming.

The full statement from First Presbyterian is provided below:
First Presbyterian Church has been named in a lawsuit related to the Boy Scouts of America ongoing sexual abuse investigation. The conduct described in the complaint is alleged to have occurred more than 35 years ago in the mid-1980’s. No details or specifics are provided in the lawsuit other than First Presbyterian serving as a sponsoring organization and meeting place for a scout troop. The church has zero tolerance for abuse of any kind and supports individuals who have experienced trauma.
The pastor of Mebane United Methodist Church also responded to a FOX8 inquiry:
To my knowledge, our church has not received any communication from the court regarding this lawsuit. As a church we take the allegation of abuse very seriously. Providing a safe environment for everyone at our church is our highest priority.

Mebane UMC seeks to comfort those who suffer, care for those in need, and listen to those who feel unheard. Although we do not know the details or specifics about this lawsuit, we pray for all who are involved.

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