Man listed in Boy Scouts' 'perversion file' blocked from Goshen Troop

| 03 May 2019 | 12:07

By Pamela Chergotis
The late Edward D. Spear, a Blooming Grove resident blocked from serving as a volunteer for Boy Scout Troop 63 in Goshen, was among hundreds of names released from the so-called "perversion files" kept by the Boy Scouts of America.
These files, known in the Boy Scouts organization as the Ineligible Volunteer Files, are in the news last week because a law firm released the names of all New York State residents on the list. The Child Victims Act, signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in February, loosens the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse to create a one-year window during which victims may make allegations.
Spear, however, was already convicted and served time in the 1980s, reporting to Orange County Jail on weekends for six months. And the BSA's Delaware Hudson Council in Middletown blocked him in April 1990, seven months after he applied to serve as a volunteer.
Spear was indicted in Orange County Court on May 10, 1982, of having "engaged in continual acts of sexual intercourse" with a girl younger than 14 "on or about and between" Jan. 29, 1978, and Jan. 29, 1979. Spear would have been 32 years old at the time. He died in 2006 at age 60, leaving behind a wife and nine children.
Spear blocked nationwide
Sam Liebman, then president of the Delaware Hudson Council, sent Spear a sternly worded letter with a refund of his registration fee:
"It has been brought to our attention that several serious charges had been brought against you by the People of the State of New York.
"After careful review, we have decided that your registration with the Boy Scouts of America should be suspended. We are therefore compelled to request that you sever any relations you may have with the Boy Scouts of America.
"You should understand that BSA membership registration is a privilege and is not automatically granted to everyone who applies. We reserve the right to suspend registration whenever there is a concern that an individual may not meet the high standards of membership which the BSA seeks to provide for American youth."
The Delaware Hudson Council alerted the BSA's Northeast Region and the director of registration for the National Office in Irving, Texas, to block Spear from registering in the organization throughout the United States.
Spear received a bachelor's degree in animal husbandry and a master's in herbicidal chemistry from Cornell University, according to his obituary. In 1976 he established Spear Bros. Lumber with his brother Joe.
Most claims not yet adjudicated
The law firm that released the New York list this week, Jeff Anderson & Associates in New York City, explained that the Boy Scouts of America has since the 1920s maintained an internal file of scout leaders accused of sexual abuse and other misconduct. The firm said Wednesday there were "at least 7,819 accused child sex abusers in scouting and at least 12,254 victims."
"Through litigation across the country, courts have ordered the public release of some of these Boy Scout files," said a statement by the law firm. "While lawsuits may have been filed involving some of these alleged perpetrators, the vast majority of the claims against these individuals have not been fully evaluated in a civil or criminal court. Accordingly, the allegations should not be considered proven or substantiated in a court of law. All individuals should be considered innocent until proven guilty."
Spear's file and some 5,000 others ex­pelled from the Boy Scouts between 1947 and Janu­ary 2005 on sus­pi­cion of sexu­al ab­use were posted in 2012 by The Los Angeles Times at
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