When US District Judge Charles Siragusa sentenced former church counselor and Boy Scout leader Daryl Vonneida to a life sentence for sexual crimes against children he told him, “”It’s 40 years abusing children, I think it’s unfathomable, 40 years of preying on children.”
Prior to the charges that sent him to prison for life, Vonneida had been convicted on three previous occasions of sexual abuse. This time Vonneida, 63, was convicted of child pornography possession and production, as well as transporting children across state lines for sex. The boys were between 10 and 13 years old at the time of the crimes.
Vonneida is listed in the Boy Scout Perversion Files and represents a failed system in which Boy Scout leaders such as Vonneida were able to continue to prey on children under the cloak of institutional respectability provided by the Boy Scouts. Vonneida of Montour Falls, New York served as an Assistant Scout Master for Troop 50 in Odessa, NY.
“He used his position … not only to gain access to the children but to gain the trust of their families,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Marissa Miller, the prosecutor in the case, said after Monday’s sentencing.
Miller commended the strength of Vonneida’s two most recent victims, who are now middle-school age and testified at trial in February.
“Daryl Vonneida has been doing this for 40 years,” Miller said. “If it weren’t for the courage of these two boys to say ‘Enough’ and come forward, who knows where it would have ended.”