The pastor of a Charlotte church says that a man who admitted to molesting Boy Scouts in the 1970s worked at a church daycare for the past decade.
According to Pastor Rush Otey of Selywn Avenue Presbyterian Church, Thomas Menghi Junior worked at the church's daycare starting in 2002.
During an interview with the Associated Press released on Thursday, Menghi admitted that he molested as many as 10 boys from Troop 786 in Fayetteville in the early 1970s.
Menghi was just one of thousands of former scout leaders named in secret files on suspected abusers kept by the Boy Scouts of America and released under a recent court order.
He told The Associated Press that he was usually drunk when he had sex with boys.
He was in his late 20s, living in a Fayetteville motel and working as Tupperware deliveryman.
He invited boys from Troop 786 as young as 11 years old to ride with him along his route, requesting that they come to his room to spend the night before so they could get an early start.
"Yes, I abused kids," Menghi, now 69, admitted in an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press. "But just how many and other details I can't remember. It was a long time ago and I was in a fog."
Pastor Otey told WBTV that Menghi began working at the daycare in 2002. He left for a while and then came back to the daycare.
Menghi's position was eliminated in a restructuring move.
"At no time during Mr. Menghi's employment were there hints, suspicions, observations, or allegations of any inappropriate conduct related to sexual abuse, molestation, or neglect of duties," a statement from the church obtained by WBTV said.
"Had there been such accusations from any child, parent, supervisor, volunteer, or co-worker, this would have been reported immediately to the proper authorities, and Mr. Menghi (or any other employee or volunteer associated with the Church or Child Development Center) would have been suspended or terminated."
Menghi cleared every criminal records check by the Selwyn CDC and the State of North Carolina, and every other reference check, the church told WBTV.
"We understand the anxiety and stress and disappointment and anger and fear that this report has created," Pastor Otey said. "We stand ready to provide care and support as well as deepest prayers, as we continue to hold sacred the trust and responsibility of caring for, nurturing, and educating children."
Otey told WBTV that Menghi never mentioned he was once associated with the Boy Scouts, so the church had no reason to contact them about Menghi's past.
They first learned about the connection on Thursday when the article was published.
The Boys Scouts of America Public Relations released a statement saying "There have been instances where our efforts to protect youth were plainly insufficient, inappropriate, or wrong. Where those involved in Scouting failed to protect, or worse, inflicted harm on children, we extend our deepest and sincere apologies to victims and their families" .
WBTV checked with CMPD. Officers say they have not received any complaints about Menghi.
WBTV also checked with police in Union County and Monroe where Menghi lives. Both departments say they have not received complaints.
Mark Turner, Scout Executive of Mecklenburg County Council, says his office has never had contact with Menghi. Turner says Menghi never registered or volunteered in Mecklenburg.
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