Former S.I. Camp Counselor Charged With Child Sex Abuse

Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011  |  Updated 2:43 PM EDT
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Former S.I. Camp Counselor Charged With Child Sex Abuse

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A former counselor at a Staten Island summer camp for special needs kids has been charged with child sex abuse, law enforcement officials said.

Francesco Zaffuto, 19, of Huguenot, is accused of directing an 8-year-old autistic child to perform sexual acts on him on at least three occasions while he was working at the Mission of the Immaculate Virgin at Mount Loretto summer camp, District Attorney  Dan Donovan said.

Zaffuto had been arrested in late January on charges of uploading and possessing dozens of images that show children younger than 16 engaging in sexual acts with each other and with adults, including the photos of himself with the victim, police said.

That lead authorities to open a wider investigation.

He was out on $10,000 bail, but surrendered to the Staten Island district attorney's office Wednesday morning, officials said.  It is unclear if he has hired a lawyer.

Investigators began looking into Zaffuto in 2008, when he posted photos of children engaged in sex acts.

Some of the images found in Zaffuto's home were of children wearing clothing with the camp's logo on it, the Staten Island Advance reported.

A lawyer for the camp told the paper that none of those images showed children in a state of undress. 

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