A man from Duryea faces a long list of charges including sexually assaulting a child.
According to the paperwork filed by Duryea police, a 13-year-old boy claims Vito Russo, 40, had indecent contact with him over a two-year period ending in December of last year. The boy said he knew Russo through church and Boy Scouts.
Russo was a Boy Scout troop leader in Lackawanna County for more than 15 years until January of this year. He was removed when he was hit with a similar set of charges in Wayne County in January.
There were frequent sleep-overs between the boy and Russo and that’s when the victim claims the contact took place.
Duryea police said Russo has admitted to the latest set of charges against him.
Russo was out on bail when he was hit with the new charges this morning. His new bail is set at $50,000.
Police in Duryea think there might be more victims, and they urge those victims to come forward with their stories.
“A victim should contact us here at the Duryea Police Department and speak to me or one of the officers. They will get the information to me. If they want to talk about it we will proceed and do whatever we can do help them out,” said Duryea Police Chief Nicholas Lohman.
Officials with the Boy Scouts of America said Russo was removed from his position as scout master back in January, a position he held since 2001. Officials also said all parents of the troop members that he supervised have been notified about his arrest.
“The minute we learned about it we removed him immediately. We always remove them immediately because it’s not an innocent until proven guilty it’s remove them from the situation to protect the child,” said Marcel Cinquina, the executive director of the Boy Scouts of America in Moosic.