Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hopkinton suspect in sex assault case faced earlier accusation.

Hopkinton suspect in sex assault case faced earlier accusation.
Shane Gerardi/for Daily News and Wicked Local.
George Scandalis of Hopkinton is arraigned in Worcester District Court on charges of indecent assault and battery against a minor.

By David Riley/Daily News staff
The MetroWest Daily News
Posted Aug 28, 2010 @ 12:00 AM
A Hopkinton man recently charged with sexually assaulting a Worcester teen was barred from his work as a traveling minister in the 1970s after an earlier allegation of child abuse, current and former members of his religious group said.

George Scandalis, 67, had been a minister for a Christian fellowship that goes by no official name but is informally known as the Two-by-Twos, the Workers, the Truth or the Christian Conventions.

Barry Barkley, who coordinates some of the ministry's activities in the Northeast, said members told Scandalis no later than 1979 to cease his work after a claim of child abuse in Massachusetts.

It was "handled by the courts," he said, but he was unsure where the accusation originated. The case ultimately was dropped, he said.

"From that point onward, he was given to understand that he had no further part in this ministry," said Barkley, who is based in New Hampshire.

Ted Carolus, a former ministry member, told the Daily News this week that he knew Scandalis through the church as a child.

After reading news reports this week on Scandalis' arrest, Carolus reported to Worcester Police this week that Scandalis had abused him Dalton, Mass., when he was 12, in the early 1970s.

Carolus, who now lives in McKinney, Texas, said he was afraid and did not tell anyone what happened as a child. He also recently described the alleged abuse on, a website for former fellowship members.

"I want to see justice served and hope to provide any help that I can," Carolus said.

Worcester Police Detective Mark Tivnan confirmed that he spoke with Carolus this week.

Boston lawyer Leonard Henson, who represents Scandalis, declined to comment yesterday.

Scandalis pleaded not guilty this week at his arraignment on charges of indecent assault and battery on a child 14 or older and enticement of a child younger than 16. He posted $5,000 bail on the condition he not contact the victim or have unsupervised contact with children under 16.

Police say Scandalis pulled up to a 14-year-old boy in Worcester on Aug. 10, asked to use his cell phone for an emergency and groped the boy after he got into the car.

Authorities said Scandalis used the boy's phone to send himself a text message and later sent sexual messages to the boy. Investigators posing as the boy then arranged a meeting with Scandalis, which led to the arrest.

Barkley said he was a fellow minister when Scandalis faced an abuse allegation in the late '70s.

Ministers, known as workers, usually meet in members' homes or public buildings, often traveling in groups of two and staying with families.

Members generally refer to themselves simply as Christians, Barkley said.

"We are more of a fellowship that operates on the basis of a family than on the basis of an organization," he said. "That's why we are left as a group of equals, really. We are a Bible-oriented group. Our attempt is to follow the teachings of the Scripture as individuals."

Scandalis was involved in such work in the '70s, Barkley said, although he was unsure for how long before members told him he had to stop.

"We do recognize that it's in the court system," he said of the more recent allegation. "We will be fully supportive of their efforts at investigation. We'll be fully cooperative because we want any injured persons to be helped quickly."

Several websites, including the one where Carolus posted his story, are dedicated to former members of the fellowship who are concerned about the group's operation, including allegations of sexual abuse.

One site,, is dedicated to allegations of sexual abuse within the fellowship.

Barkley said his ministry does not tolerate child abuse and reports any allegations to authorities. Workers participate in an online training program called MinistrySafe on being alert to and responding to signs of sexual abuse, Barkley said, and are trying to become more proactive.

"It's not what we're about," Barkley said. "If one case comes up, it's a problem. We don't want it. It has been dealt with. It will be dealt with."

It is not clear if Scandalis is currently a member of the fellowship.

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