Camp Good News counselor sentenced in 1981 indecent assault case

Richard P. Smith will serve four years followed by probation

Richard P. Smith, formerly of Media, PA, pleaded guilty to molesting three children Monday in Barnstable Superior Court. According to a release from the Cape & Islands District Attorney's Office, Smith, 67, pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent assault and battery upon a child under 14 and one count of indecent assault and battery on a person who has attained the age of 14. 

The charges stem from incidents at Camp Good News in Forestdale in 1981 when Smith was a counselor. Smith was 33 at the time the molestation occurred, the release said. According to the DA's Office, two of the victims were 12 and one of the victims was 16. Smith was initially indicted by a Barnstable Grand Jury in April 2013 on charges of rape of a child, indecent assault and battery and five counts of indecent assault and battery upon a child under the age of fourteen.

Judge Robert Rufo sentenced Smith to two years at the Barnstable County House of Correction, followed by two years from and after that term. Following the four year jail sentence, Smith will be on lifetime probation, the release said.

During the first three years of probation, Smith will be confined to his home. As part of probation, Smith will be subject to mandatory sex offender counseling, must register as a sex offender and provide a DNA sample for the state database. He must refrain from all direct and indirect contact with his victims and their families and must not reside with a person under 18 or near a school.

Smith must also refrain from unsupervised contact with a person under 18 and cannot apply for jobs or volunteer with an organization that puts him in direct contact with children, the release said. He will also be monitored by GPS, be subject to warrantless searches and will have restricted online access and no access to obscene materials or pornography.

The investigation into molestation accusations at the Cape began in 2011 with the release of former Senator Scott Brown's autobiography "Against All Odds". In the book, Brown said he was molested at a summer camp in Sandwich in the 70s. Although he didn't directly name Camp Good News, it wasn't long before law enforcement and the media began looking in that direction.

In April 2011, two months following the release of Brown's book, Charles R. Devita, who worked at the camp, took his own life on the property. Devita died of a self-inflicted shotgun wound shortly after a victim came forward alleging sexual abuse at the camp in 1985. Police later confirmed that Devita was the subject of that investigation. 


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