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Sex assault suspect found dead at Cape camp

4-6-2011 Massachusetts:

A man accused of sexual assault at Camp Good News in Sandwich was found dead today from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.

It’s the same Cape Cod camp where U.S. Sen. Scott Brown spent summers as a boy. Brown said in his memoir “Against All Odds” that he was abused at a Cape “Christian” camp and after the book came out Camp Good News confirmed he had attended the summer getaway and apologized to the senator.

The dead man was identified as Charles “Chuck” R. Devita by attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who represents a client allegedly molested by the longtime camp employee. Devita, who is shown on the camp’s Web site, has not been identified by law enforcement officials.

He apparently took his own life with a gunshot to the head and was found in his vehicle outside the camp, a law enforcement source told the Herald.

The Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe and Sandwich Police Chief Peter Wack said today in a joint statement that the man was found dead from an apparent “self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

The suspect was recently accused of abusing a child who is now a grown man, they said. That probe will continue, despite today’s death.

The 43-year-old man left a couple of notes indicating he was going to take his own life, the source tells the Herald. The notes indicated that he was “tired of being accused” of molestation and also said goodbyes to loved ones, the source said.

Local and state police descended on the camp earlier this morning. A flatbed truck left the camp early this afternoon with a pickup truck on it.

Garabedian tells the Herald his client was supposed to meet with a state police investigator about today’s death. Garabedian said his client alleges he was repeatedly sexually assaulted at the overnight camp in 1985 by Devita.

Garabedian said three other people have now come forward today alleging they were also sexually assaulted at the camp — two from Devita and one from another man.

“Another individual has come forward alleging that he was molested by a different individual. I am currently investigating,” Garabedian said.

The attorney, who represented dozens of victims of pedophile priests during the Catholic Church sex scandal, said if the dead man is confirmed to be the alleged molester, the criminal case would end but he said he would likely continue to pursue the case civilly.

Garabedian said he has not spoken with Brown about the case.

O’Keefe this week launched an investigation into the latest allegation.

The camp has been in the news since Brown revealed this winter in his book that a camp counselor on the Cape molested him in the 1970s.

O’Keefe’s office began a probe into the allegations in Brown’s book but the investigation has been dropped and Brown has declined to pursue any charges. Brown said on the Howie Carr show today on WRKO (AM-680) that today’s death does not relate to his case.

“I have no evidence at all that the person who did it to me 42 years ago is number one even alive or number two is doing it again,” he said. “I’m moving forward in my own way at my own pace with my support system.”

A spokesman for the camp said in a statement today: “Camp Good News has been notified about a body being found. We are awaiting identification from the medical examiner before commenting.” ..Source.. by Dave Wedge And Joe Dwinell

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