Documents: Former scout leader admitted to abusing children

by: Jeff Smith Updated:

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MONROE, N.C. - Documents state a former Boy Scout leader admitted to the Scouts and to a reporter that he sexually assaulted several boys, and he was never charged with a crime.

Documents released by the Boy Scouts show leaders knew about the confession in the early 1970s, but they decided not to tell police.

According to the documents, Thomas Menghi Jr. admitted to sexually assaulting at least 10 boys. The 69-year-old man now lives in Monroe, down the street from an elementary school.

There are Halloween decorations scattered across the lawn of his house on Franklin Street, near downtown Monroe. Menghi lives there with his adult son.

An Eyewitness News crew knocked on his door, but his son shut the door.

Menghi's case just came to light from files just released from the Boy Scouts called "The Perversion Report."

It said Menghi would invite young boys to stay the night with him. According to the documents, he admitted that when they fell asleep, he would kiss them and perform sex acts on them.

Boy Scout leaders didn't call police, the file states. They first put him on probation, saying, "He was quite young and perhaps the additional time and maturity will cause him to be a good leader."

One scout leader, who helped make the decision, told The Associated Press he didn't want to put the boys through the trauma of a trial, but he also said he knew the publicity would be bad for the Scouts.

In a confidential letter among the files, a Boy Scouts administrator said, "Normally, we do not suggest that any legal action by instituted by parents."

Menghi was quoted by The Associated Press: "I abused kids, but just how many and other details I can't remember."

Menghi was never arrested or charged with a crime, so he's not on the state sex offender registry. He's free to live down the road from a Monroe elementary school.

The Fayetteville district attorney said he's reviewing the files.

One of Menghi's neighbors told Eyewitness News the 69-year-old keeps to himself, but he had no idea about Menghi’s past. He added he won’t let his kids go to Menghi’s house for trick-or-treating.