With the number of stories in the media about the Boy Scouts of America child sexual abuse cases from across the country, it was only a matter of time until the case hit home. When the Scouts released over 20,000 pages of files on 1,200 child molesters from 1965-1985, it was almost inevitable that at least one would be from this area. However, what some were surprise to find out was there were three - David Wayne Cunyus of Stephenville, Larry Wayne Reid and Larry Wayne Reid, both of Cleburne.
While the abusers have long since faced the consequences of their actions, the names still brought shock to communities across the nation as the recently unsealed records of "Ineligible Volunteers" were revealed.
An attorney who has fought tireless to unveil the realities of the more than a thousand cases recently released a statement on the files.
"BSA was taking active steps to keep even the existence of the files secret from the public," said Kelly Clark, an attorney who helped get the record unsealed. "The fact that BSA national was keeping a list of pedophiles was something that not even many lifetime Scouts and some professional Scouters—heads of the local Boy Scout Councils—knew about. The files themselves were, and are, kept in segregated and locked filing systems at BSA headquarters. BSA never has voluntarily released the files, and has always fought tooth and nail to keep them from law enforcement, as well as from abuse victims, their parents and lawyers."
The Cunyus case involved the abuse of 12-year-old boys, possibly as many as seven separate cases. One was tried first in Glen Rose (Somervell County), and after a failed appeal the others were also tried.
According to the files released by the BSA, Cunyus was 48 when he was convicted of enticing a minor in 1984. He served tie in the county jail.
The files released also indicated that Cunyus may have used an alias of Paul. Letters back and forth from the headquarters and area BSA offices questioned if a Paul Cunyus, who was listed at the same address, was related to or the same person as David Wayne.
Reid, who was 24 years old when he was added to the BSA list, was sentenced to seven years in prison in 1978. He was a scout leader in Cleburne 1976-77 and was accused by a number of scouts of sexual advances and touching.
Reid was added to the "Ineligible Volunteers" list in 1978 shortly after the trial against him was complete.
Reid was suspected of sexual assault within the scouts as early as 1976, but claims could not be confirmed until the following year, when he was suspended and an investigation by BSA began.
When Reid was informed of the investigation, he attempted to commit suicide but was stopped by BSA leaders.
"I was also sent to court, tried, convicted and sentenced before I could even give my side and present a defense," Reid said of his suspension in a letter to Boy Scout investigators.
He went on to ask the names of those who accused him, and said he was unaware of the accusations.
Reid had been involved in scouting since he was eight and was even awarded Eagle Scout honors. He also served in the U.S. Army and had been involved in scouting while stationed in Germany.
Stewart, who was 33 years old at the time, was added to the list in May 1965. He was a scout leader and was added to the "Ineligible Volunteers" list after "admitting to the fondling charge made by the mothers of two scout members."
Letters in the file indicate after being barred from participating in scouting in Cleburne, Stewart became involved with the Alamo Area Council but was not registered in 1968. When he attempted to register in 1969, the Cleburne council informed the other of Stewart's admission and subsequent removal.
The files also indicate he was an associate pastor at Eisenhower Baptist Church in San Antonio and he indicated on his 1968 application that he was a new applicant.
These three men, the only ones on the list in the area, are only three of 1,200 released at this time. Clark said he believes lists for later dates may also be required to be released soon. At this time, a complete list is available at www.kellyclarkattorney.com.
Jessie Horton is a staff writer for the Stephenville Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org