The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

February 17, 2013

Siblings discover dad’s Scout abuse, remember own



When the Scouts removed him from their ranks, Brandon Gray took a position as the executive director of the American Cancer Society in Bergen County, N.J. But he would be sued for redirecting checks intended for the society into his own bank account, according to a 1977 account in The New York Times. 

The story in The Times said Gray was accused of stealing more than $30,000 from the organization, according to a lawsuit filed by the American Cancer Society’s insurer in federal court. No record of a conviction or acquittal could be obtained by the AP.

In that same period, Gray founded a Knights of Columbus youth program called the Squires. Ray Duda was 15 years old when he met Gray through the program. Duda, now 66 and living in Conway, S.C., says Gray had on some occasions groped him in a car or while swimming on group outings. “I never really felt I had to report that,” he says, his voice soft. “I just didn’t see it as any big deal.”

In the years after Ruth’s death, Gray went on to work for a law firm in San Diego, and for a brief time lived in Kansas City, Mo. He left California in 2000 and moved back to New Hampshire. He died in 2004, at the age of 79.

Jim remembers trying to reconcile with him, only to be laughed at. Carol remembers visiting him in the early 1990s, just after she began to recover memories of her abuse, only to be told her father now found women “distasteful.” He denied ever abusing her.

“Even to the end,” Carol said, “he was the same man.”

This past October, Carol learned about the “perversion” files from local news accounts. She told Jim. Neither had heard of the Scouts’ files previously. To Jim, they held few surprises, save that the Scouts suspected something was wrong with their father and did enough to protect Scouts, but no one else.

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