NMG member Nigel Duara won the Best of the States competition last month for the latest in a string of impressive investigative stories about sexual abuse of Boy Scouts by scoutmasters.
Last year, the Portland, Ore., newsman spent months on the story, reporting on sex abuse cases, on authorities ignoring what was happening and on the contents of “perversion files” about Scouts who were revealed to be gay.
Duara’s dedication and persistence led him to find, confirm and report something even worse. He revealed that one scoutmaster had molested Scouts and, after being fired by the Boy Scouts, molested his son, his daughter and at least one more child.
That story began when the son, who’d been serving in the Peace Corps in Africa, contacted Duara after reading one of his earlier articles. He told Duara that he’d been abused by his now-dead father, Brandon Gray.
Duara then had the delicate job of persuading the man’s very reluctant sisters _ one of them a nun _ to talk with him. The nun finally agreed to an interview, telling Duara that she, too, had been abused by the father. The other sister then agreed to speak with Duara as well.
He and two editors worked on the project for four months, from the reporting through the final touches on the 2,600-word story. It got great play around the country, particularly in New Jersey, the Grays’ home state.
Duara continues to speak with key sources, looking for more follows on the shocking story. Meanwhile, as Duara reported on March 13: “Faced with a backlash against their ban on gays, the Boy Scouts of America are surveying their members on a potential change in policy.”