Camp Tecumseh

Camp Tecumseh, shown Tuesday afternoon, is a 118-year old camp for boys 8-16 on Lake Winnipesaukee in Moultonborough. Last Friday, the Carroll County Grand Jury handed up indictments against a former counselor at the camp alleging he sexually abused a camper between 2001 and 2003.

A former counselor at a boys camp on Lake Winnipesaukee in Moultonborough has been indicted for sexually assaulting a camper in the early 2000s.

The Carroll County Grand Jury handed up two indictments on Nov. 19 alleging that between May 2001 and September 2003, Matthew Scavitto, 37, of West Chester, Pa., committed aggravated felonious sexual assault when he engaged in a pattern of sexual abuse upon a person 16 or younger and that he engaged in sexual penetration of a person under 13.

In the indictments, the alleged victim is identified by the initials “W.A.,” who was 11 when the alleged assaults began.

The alleged victim said he was abused by Scavitto at Camp Tecumseh on Moultonborough Neck, where he was a camper and Scavitto had been a senior counselor, according to a lawsuit filed last November in Carroll County Superior Court and in a prepared statement Tuesday from the alleged victim’s attorney, Roderick MacLeish of Lexington, Mass. That suit was later resolved.

The alleged victim, the lawsuit said, suffered “severe emotional distress, including diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder, major depressive order, severe anxiety, loss of earnings and mental anguish.”

The lawsuit sought damages for “medical expenses, lost wages, lost employment benefits, emotional distress, inconvenience, mental anguish, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and other consequential damages as well as compensatory damages” and legal fees.

In a statement from MacLeish, the alleged victim hoped more of Scavitto’s victims would come forward “so that this serial child molester can be permanently removed from society in order to protect children everywhere and give his victims some hope for healing.”

“It was widely known at Camp Tecumseh that Matt Scavitto raped me on a regular basis,” the alleged victim said.

“Sadly, Camp Tecumseh leadership chose to ignore the suffering of a child rather than take action to protect me and risk disrupting the status quo. Camp Tecumseh failed to protect me, and generations of children who went there. The trauma we endured as a result of their moral failure has inflicted wounds we will carry for the rest of our lives.”

Founded in 1903, Camp Tecumseh on its website says that it is committed to candor and addresses both prior similar offenses for which Scavitto was convicted in Pennsylvania and the alleged abuse he has been indicted for in New Hampshire.

The camp said that in 2015, Scavitto, who had been a counselor at Camp Tecumseh from 2001 to 2014, “was arrested and subsequently convicted of sexual abuse of two high school students in Pennsylvania, one of whom was a former Camper and Camp counselor (at Camp Tecumseh).”

Camp officials imply that Scavitto’s arrest led them to alert law enforcement that other campers may have been abused by Scavitto.

In a June 24 “Letter to the Camp Community,” Camp Chairman Cornelius Merlini and Camp Director Doug Knight wrote that the alleged victim came forward in the fall of 2020 and said he had been abused by Scavitto. The men said that the alleged victim, who wanted his name shared with the Camp Tecumseh community, filed a complaint against the camp that resulted in a mediated settlement in early 2021.