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Two Former Boy Scout Leaders Charged With Raping Scouts

June 16, 1995

CRANSTON, R.I. (AP) _ Two former Boy Scout leaders have been charged with raping two scouts at a camp, and police said Thursday they believe more boys were victimized.

At a news conference, police said they heard stories this week of underage drinking, pornographic movies and sexual assaults dating back to 1981 at the Champlin Scout Reservation.

``This will be a long and involved investigation,″ Chief Augustine Comella said. ``A lot has gone on at the camp over the years.″

The 385-acre reservation, once the site of a logging mill, is owned by the Boy Scouts and used by troops for weekend and day outings. Boys stay there with troop leaders, camping, hiking and sleeping in tents or in two cabins in the woods.

Former scoutmasters Kenneth Gaspar, 37, of Cranston, who faces one rape count and Paul Tondreau, 48, of Coventry, who faces two rape charges, were also camp masters who would assist other scout troops during outings.

Tondreau, a carpenter at a hospital, was arrested Monday. Gaspar, a computer maintenance man for a cable television company, was arrested April

12, but was barred from the Boy Scouts last year when he was convicted of molesting a 12-year-old boy and given a 30-year suspended sentence.

Both are being held without bail.

A 25-year-old man whose allegations helped lead police to Tondreau and Gaspar said he believes, based on what he has seen and heard, that the two assaulted at least 20 boys.

The man said that Tondreau would scare boys by telling them he was a Vietnam veteran who had violent flashbacks while sleepwalking and that he ``could lash out at any time and kill you.″

The man said Tondreau would ``sleepwalk″ into his tent at night and rape him.

The man said he was assaulted nearly 40 times over three years, starting when he was 14. Gaspar and Tondreau have been ``playing in my head night and day″ ever since, he said.

The man, who remains active in and supportive of the Boy Scouts, said he told no one about the abuse until three years ago when he realized it was ruining his marriage. He went to police Friday.

The police chief said there is no indication the Boy Scouts knew anything about any sexual assaults.

``The Boy Scouts is a wonderful organization; you just hate to see people like this, preying on children and using the Boy Scouts to do it,″ Comella said.

Lyle Antonides, scout executive of the Boy Scouts’ Narragansett Council, said whenever charges are brought against a scout leader, the person is removed from the organization.

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