Archive

Christian day camp in Somerset County sued over sexual assault | TribLIVE.com
News

Christian day camp in Somerset County sued over sexual assault

Officials at a Christian-themed day camp in Somerset County allowed a counselor with a history of sexual abuse to continue his criminal conduct, a victim claimed more than a decade later in a civil lawsuit filed by her lawyers.

The woman, identified as “Jane Doe” in court documents, claims that officials at Summer’s Best Two Weeks in Boswell knew that camp counselor Eric DeVries “openly exhibited the common behaviors of a sexual predator” because of at least one formal complaint in 2001, but still allowed him to work there until police arrested him in 2005.

DeVries could not be reached for comment.

According to the lawsuit filed Friday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, DeVriesbegan “to psychologically and spiritually manipulate and groom” the girl after he took a job as director of student ministries at Vienna Presbyterian Church in Virginia, where authorities charged him with sexually assaulting other underage girls.

When he worked at Summer’s Best Two Weeks between 2002 and 2005, camp officials “put no restrictions on DeVries and did not monitor his behavior.” That’s when, according to the lawsuit, he “took advantage of this lack of oversight and engaged Jane Doe in sexual contact with her while at the camp.”

Several attempts to reach camp officials by phone and email were not returned.

DeVries pleaded guilty in 2006 to taking indecent liberties with a minor, and a judge sentenced him to 12 months in jail.

Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.


TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.