February 10, 2005

Boy Scout leader charged with molesting child


Thursday, February 10, 2005


RINGWOOD - Reviving an old case, police say they have arrested a local Boy Scout troop leader who also is a children's music teacher and church volunteer on charges that he molested a 10-year-old boy.

Gene Giordano, 53, was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child, based on allegations that he fondled the boy in 1999. The attack allegedly occurred in Giordano's Valley Road home.

The charges represent the reopening of a six-year old case, which prosecutors dropped because the alleged victim was too young to testify effectively in court. However, new allegations in 2004 against Giordano toward other boys encouraged investigators to reopen the case.

They decided to press charges because the initial alleged victim, now 16, is emotionally mature and will make an effective witness, said Chief Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Del Russo of the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office.

"We saw this as an opportunity," he said.

Giordano is in charge of children's music programming at St. Catherine of Bologna Roman Catholic Church on Erskine Road. The church's Web site lists him as the coordinator of a children's choir, orchestra, music ministry and cantors. Giordano also is the leader of Boy Scout Troup 96, based out of St. Catherine's.

Posted by kshaw at February 10, 2005 08:49 AM