2 More Claim Sexual Abuse At Camp Good News

By Karen Anderson, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – Just days after it announced plans to reopen, a camp on Cape Cod linked to sexual abuse allegations made by Sen. Scott Brown is being sued.

A woman from Florida and a man from Massachusetts filed the lawsuit against the owners of Camp Good News in Sandwich in Barnstable Superior Court.

Both claim they were raped in separate incidents by different people.

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson reports

There has not been a statement yet from the camp.

In the suit, Robert Roe said he was severely beaten for getting help after his attack.

The woman, Cheryl Madden, claims she was sexually assaulted, battered and raped by a janitor from 1973-to-1975, starting when she was seven years old.

The suit claims the camp’s system of supervising its employees provided potential sexual predators with opportunities to abuse children in their care.

Madden said she doesn’t know the name of the janitor, who is referred to in the suit as John Doe.

She claimed on one occasion, a counselor at the camp observed the abuse in a girl’s bathroom, but failed to intervene or protect her.

Madden says she didn’t understand that she had been harmed until April 2009. She believes the janitor sexually assaulted at least one other young girl at the camp.

In the other case, Roe claimed he was sexually abused, battered and raped on several occasions by camp counselor Ernest Milnes in 1970 when he was eight years old.

Milnes died in 2009.

In one of these incidents, Roe said he was injured in the genitals and needed medical treatment.

He claimed Milnes threatened him and told him that he would hurt him if told anyone how he became injured.

After a couple of days, the injury was so painful, Roe says he was forced to be treated by a nurse.

He says Milnes learned from someone at the camp that he told the nurse how he became injured, and said Milnes took action to punish him.

Roe says Milnes picked him up by the legs and banged his head on the ground until he was nearly unconscious.

“He also punched me square in the head so I had black eyes,” says Roe. “The nurse’s reaction was disbelief.”

He was taken to the hospital for X-rays, but his parents were told the two black eyes was an accident.

The former camper says he didn’t understand he had been harmed by Milnes until this past summer.

In their lawsuit, the former campers say they have suffered permanent psychological damages from the abuse.

“The camp reopening to me is just sickening,” says Robert. “They’re not even trying to address this issue.”

District Attorney Michael O’Keefe said “The matter (involving Camp Good News) has been under investigation and remains under investigation. It’s still ongoing.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mark Katic reports

O’Keefe said they have received allegations from 13 people claiming they were abused at the camp, starting in 1971.

Most of the alleged perpetrators are unidentified. He says there may be an incident going back as far as 1969.

The allegations began to surface after Senator Scott Brown disclosed he was abused.

He only said he was abused at a Cape Cod summer camp, but Camp Good News later confirmed that Brown was a camper there.

You can follow Karen Anderson on Twitter at @karenreports.

  • emom

    Why does it take so long for people to come forward ,, we are talking 20 and 30 years later, and after all the the other reports from other areas why still wait this long , What does it do , Just wondering why …

    • Anonymous

      Dear “emom”. I would urge you to read the “published reports” more carefully. As for my instance, I came forward a number of times “officially” to the camp as early as 1978 and then repeatedly made thorough reports to multiple authorities including the police for years including reports made in the wake of a number of child kidnappings and murders in NY, MA and PA. Those reports were apparently ignored at best and responded to with harassment at worst.
      We can all thank Senator Brown for having come forward as someone “who could not be ignored”. In the case of the CGN Liars and Fakes, only United States Senators are deserving of “public and contrite apologies”.
      Living Eye Witness

  • Anonymous

    I griped a lot about the excessive skinny dipping at nights before bedtime scheduled by the Head Counselor/Camp Director xxx-xxxxx. Most years there was no organized boys camp skinny dipping or it was a once a year or a once in 5 year thing. One year it was 3-5 times a week. Arguably, it’s a summer camp thing that most people do once but aren’t obsessed with.

    As a lifeguard, I didn’t like twilight skinnydipping because twilight swims were reduced visibility, the kids that actually participated (about half the boys would skip and others would leave their suits on) were more reckless increasing accidents (stubbed toes, slips and the like), and I knew it made a mess for cleanup for the cabin counselors and made it harder to put the kids to sleep on time. But “the decider” and the insiders thought it “cute” and an “essential daily part of the camp experience.

    Why not another activity just for variety? Capture the Flag? Dodgeball? Softball? Board Games? Cookouts? Looking back it’s a tough call whether the activity schedule was shaped more by incompetent camp leadership or a tendency to sexual dysfunction. T

    It’s very disturbing realizing now that Chuck Devita and a number of others including TWO CAMP GOOD NEWS DIRECTORS were present as “insiders” in leading the obsession with “skinnydipping” at CGN. An old photo of Chuck DeVita enthusiastically “lifeguarding” was also sent by me to the MA State Police. At this time DeVita was a full Camp Director (not the janitor or Director of maintenance as erroneously reported in other articles).

    I got the impression they enjoyed my-less-than amused enthusiasm at the skinny dipping and other breaches of organization and discipline and chalked it up as to part of my pattern of having a “hateful heart” and not being actually “saved”. I’m sure most parents would appreciate having the CHOICE of whether to send their male children to the camp IF THIS OVERLY EMPHASIZED ACTIVITY were actually advertised on the Camp Website or as part of the Camp’s promotional activities through out the church.


  • Sam Rogers

    A funny thing happened to me on the way to the Barnstable Court House….

    1. I whipped out my shotgun and blew my own head off.
    2. I poured gasoline all over myself and lit the match.
    3. Ron May grabbed the steering wheel from me and wrecked my BMW on the Main Camp Road
    4. I decided to accept Jesus into my heart and become saved! Are you saved? Got Jesus
    5. I made a deal with the Whitey Bulger gang to execute all of the plaintiffs, witnesses, and attorneys.
    6. My car broke down and I had summon Chuck DeVita by Séance back from the dead to fix it.
    7. I had another séance and called back the Purple Doughnut Camp Director to deliver a 35 year long Opening Statement to the Jury.
    8. I renewed Insurance Coverage for the coming summer at Camp Good News.
    9. I forgot my regular meds and had to smoke some crack instead.
    10. I loaded up my slide projector so that I could show all of my wonderful trips and photos of me posing with Syrian Generals. (edited)

  • Roy Rogers

    Camp Good New’s Deep Contempt and Hatred of Children

    As the story of suicide(s) and child sexual abuse over many decades is finally exposed at Camp Good News, supporters and spokespersons for Camp Good News have continued to insist that Camp Good News has done “so much good for children and is dedicated to “…build Christian character …in a nurturing and supportive family-like atmosphere”.
    The long history and patterns of behavior are far from the warm fuzzy statements posted at the Camp Good News website which also include mentions of “informality” and “twilight swimming”.
    The leadership of Pastors and Doctors has always been in love with the idea of being applauded for their “love and care of children” but in practice, the Camp Good News management’s style has always been one of absenteeism and neglect. It’s also true that there now have been (and will likely continue to be) numerous revelations of sexual abuse, but sexual abuse takes place normally in relative isolation.
    Sexual abusers no doubt plan for the “twilight”, to separate victims in isolation and to act while unsupervised. Camp Good News’ regular management styles allowing for neglect and absentee supervisors and counselors contributed greatly if not directly causing multiple instances of child sexual abuse to occur in the first place.

    It’s well known among every human that when you truly love a person or an activity you prefer to spend more and more of your time with that person or activity. Successful Veterinarians become such often because they love animals. Successful actors spend hours learning their craft because they love performing for audiences. Successful athletes spend hours and years at practice because they love to do so.
    At Camp Good News, the Camp’s directors and leaders spent hours in the Camp Offices, poring over “binders” and finding endless “errands” and excuses to spend the summer anywhere except with the groups of children parents entrusted to their care. The anecdote of an example set by a well known Camp Good New’s preferred counselor to leave a bedwetting camper to sleep in his own urine for weeks was no isolated incident (along with apparently keeping pornography in his bunk and being absent for the summer). Camp Supervisors who were unable to participate or lead or supervise or even be present for any children’s activity may have been amusing but it was no accident that a management style which left out and leaves out the primary focus of honoring the Camp’s obligations to care for children entrusted to the Camp by parents was doomed to disaster and at the end of the day “were no accident”.
    Accidents are by nature “unpredictable” and unforeseen. The events at Camp Good News were utterly predictable by any normal people with actual love of children.
    Any responsible adult (and apparently there were none and no evidence has been produced as to a change) would have predicted that the patterns of neglect and incompetence at Camp Good News were unwise. What responsible adult (let alone a supposed “child care professional) would regularly lead nude twilight swimming sessions in an environment where child sexual allegations had already been made (and documented by recent news reports)?
    Camp Good News has always loved and loves the idea of being applauded for its love of children but never actually loved actually spending time for children. At Camp Good News, the leaders loved the “glory of the pulpit” and loved the idea of sermonizing for hours and hours on lofty ideals (and sometimes less lofty ideals). Many Camp Good News alumni will recall , certain supervisors would laud the idea of “one on one” time with campers (to the apparent detriment of other campers). Why? It’s true that many honest, young staffers of good Christian faith regularly camp to Camp Good News and attempted to be true to their ideals but these were the exception and a testimony to Christianity rather than leadership and the direction of Camp Good News.
    The sad reality is that at its core Camp Good News’s leaders and directors had a inner contempt for working at the care of children and the evidence is a long history of neglect, incompetence and “twilight nude skinny-dipping”. It’s no accident that Camp Good News has been accused by a number of victims, paid out tens of thousands of dollars in legal settlements already to other victims and has experienced TWO suicides in its inner most circles of leadership. When you truly love caring for children, you spend time with “groups of children” in dignified activities. Camp Good News is more like a “the broken toy” given to a spoiled ill-raised child (the Camp’s living leaders and operators) who treats the unearned “toy” with carelessness, contempt and eventually breaks it.
    The regular web statements and infrequent press releases that Camp Good News “loves” children is quite simply a lie and a joke passed off by frauds.

  • Aaron

    As a councelor at this camp I must have been blind because I didn’t notice any of these things happening at camp. What I saw were young men and women coming to know God. I am not saying that these abuse acusations aren’t true but I didn’t see anything inappropriate happen at all when I was there.

  • Jim Daniels

    Ideally most pedophiles “weed” themselves out. In the case of Camp Good News, the Director’s own incompetence, arrogance and contempt of children contributed to an atmosphere where pedophiles flourished in relative secrecy for years. For example, other counselors and staff may have opposed many of the policies that “enabled” Chuck DeVita and Ernie Milnes and others without actually suspecting them. For example, a staff member and other campers may have complained for years about the Senior Camp Good News Leadership’s focus on “skinnydipping” as a Camp Activity without ever suspecting actual sexual abuse was occurring at the same time or as a result or correlation. There are perhaps hundreds of campers and staff who would confirm Camp Good New’s “nocturnal” activities and “activities” that most responsible “Christian” parents would have been surprised to discover. Certainly to this day, Camp Good News does not not advertise “skinnydipping” at the official website other than a brief allusion to “twilight swimming”.

  • Jim Daniels

    Further, in the case of Camp Good News, there were and may continue to be a number of direct associations and allegiances with multiple local government authorities, bureaus, and agencies all of whom would now have severe vested interests in limiting reporting and all of whom would now be responsible for fostering a decades long pattern and “culture” of dishonesty.
    …and all of whom would likely be smart enough to remain above the suspicions of someone unable to spell “counselor”. Isn’t that a word that is even spelled out in the Bible?

    Jesus Loves you!

  • John Jay

    Aaron you’re probably just been a good christian giving CGN the benefit of the doubt for years. The small amount of reporting and Senator Brown’s disclosure’s did everyone a great service in casting light on the darkness and secrecy of CGN’s shenanigans over the years.

    A good nonjudgmental person wouldn’t look at one suicide and say CGN is automatically bad. Problem is without reporting and memory most people wouldn’t remember there now have been TWO SUICIDES at Camp Good News with the earlier one coming at the height of the summer camping season. A good nonjudgmental person wouldn’t look at any one mishap and say CGN is a bad place or connected to anything bad. The problem is that as more and more people share information (and as more reporting and actual serious investigations occur) there is growing awareness of all the bombshell facts and all the lies.

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