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MA- Pound Ridge man who faced teen-rape charges in Mass. kills himself

7-11-2009 Massachusetts:

POUND RIDGE - A former Boy Scout leader from Pound Ridge who had arranged to turn himself in to Massachusetts police on charges he raped a teenage boy killed himself Thursday, officials said.

Dan Bathrick, 56, of 26 Lower Trinity Pass Road was to be charged with rape of a minor and conspiracy to commit rape of a minor by Northfield, Mass., police on July 23 - the date Bathrick's lawyer, Geoffrey Nathan, had arranged for him to surrender. But he sent a suicide note to his family Wednesday, left his vehicle at his office and walked 3 miles south to his home where he killed himself, Nathan said.

He was found suffocated with a plastic bag taped over his face, said the Westchester County medical examiner. Asphyxiation was the cause of death.

"I never saw this coming," said Nathan, whose office is in Boston. "I want it known that he appeared to be a very nice man, and as a lesson, that no one should do what he did. No crime is something to take your life over."

Bathrick was accused of having sex with a teenager who was between the ages of 14 and 15 at the time.

A judge in Greenfield (Mass.) District Court issued the warrant Tuesday charging Bathrick with the two felonies, the court clerk's office said. Northfield police reported the case to the District Attorney's Office on April 6, saying the abuse started about two years ago and that Bathrick, a longtime friend of the victim's family, abused the boy multiple times.

Bathrick's relationship with the family dates back 25 to 30 years, and started through the Boy Scouts, according to a report Northfield police Sgt. Robert Leighton wrote detailing Bathrick's statements to authorities.

Bathrick said he would visit the victim and his family four times a year, even vacationing with them on Cape Cod and taking them on vacation to Disney World in Florida, according to the report. Authorities released the report yesterday, redacting all of the names to protect the identity of the victim and his family.

Bathrick initially said "he never played with (the victim) below the waist line" and "that there was nothing sexual with what he was doing." But later, Bathrick's denials about touching the victim's genitals became less definitive.

"He said, 'Could it have happened, I don't believe it did.' He then said, 'If it did, it was short,'" the report said.

Bathrick also told police that when he was 9 years old, he was abused by his father's now-deceased friend, and had male oral sex on two occasions when he was 12 years old, the report said.

After interviewing him, Leighton walked Bathrick out to the parking lot.

"At this point, Bathrick turned to me and asked how much trouble he was in. I replied, 'How much trouble do you think you're in?' Bathrick said, 'Big time.' He then walked away," Leighton said in the report.

Bathrick, who never married, lived with his mother and sister, appeared to be extremely courteous and ran a successful insurance business, Nathan said. Bathrick's family could not be reached for comment.

Marc Andreo, Scout executive for the Westchester-Putnam Council, Boy Scouts of America, did not return a call seeking comment. His secretary confirmed Bathrick volunteered with the group.

Bathrick also was president of the Pound Ridge Lions Club for four years, ending his term last month. New President Andrew Brodnick would not comment on Bathrick's leadership of the organization or what he called "a tragedy for all involved." The Record Review featured Bathrick last month in an article that said he was to be honored with a past president award, and was chosen to head the local zone, which encompassed the Pound Ridge, Bedford, Bedford Hills and Mount Kisco clubs.

Nathan said he never met Bathrick in person, and communicated with him only by telephone and e-mail. Nathan said it was only in retrospect that he saw Bathrick exhibit telling behavior.

"I was trying to get the client in my office, and he had written communication that was indicative of someone who needed help," Nathan said. "I offered to fly to White Plains and meet with him, but he kept putting me off and saying, 'I don't know what the benefit would be.' "

On Wednesday, Bathrick's distraught sister called Nathan to tell him the family had received a suicide note and was having problems finding Bathrick. Nathan said he contacted police and filed a missing persons report.

The authorities were able to find Bathrick by tracing his cell phone, which he had left on, Nathan said. Bathrick's body was found in a shed on the family property. He had apparently nailed the door shut from inside, authorities said.

Cassidy-Flynn Funeral Home in Mount Kisco is handling arrangements. There are no visiting hours and services are private. ..Source.. by Hoa Nguyen and Shawn Cohen


Anonymous said...

It has been a long time ago- just came across this-Dan was a very good scout leader in the 70's& 80's-when I knew him.- How sad--- he was a good and dedicated leader.

Anonymous said...

Does suicide sound like the kind of thing a "dedicated leader" would do?
I don't know whether Dan did what he was charged with, but if I was accused
in similar fashion I would hope to have the guts to off myself. Half of the
people in jail are in there because our criminal "Justice" system doesn't
work. Its scary!