WILKES-BARRE – A former youth camp volunteer at the Independent Bible Church pleaded guilty Thursday to several charges related to sexual molestation of three boys from 1999 to 2011.
Vito Joseph Russo, 41, of Evans Street, Duryea, entered the plea to charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, three counts of endangering the welfare of children, two counts of indecent assault, two counts of corruption of minors and one count of indecent exposure.
Judge Michael Vough said Russo faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years on the involuntary deviate sexual intercourse charge.
Russo will be required to register his address under Megan's Law for his entire life and undergo an evaluation by the state Sexual Offender's Assessment Board to determine if he is a sexually violent predator.
According to court papers, state police in Honesdale who were investigating Russo in January learned that he might have molested two boys at his house in Duryea.
Duryea Police Chief Nicholas Lohman questioned Russo, who allegedly admitted to having sexual contact with a boy from 1999 to 2002, and another boy from 2002 to 2005, according to the criminal complaints.
One of the boys told police he met Russo when he was 9 years old, and the other boy was 8 years old. The two boys alleged Russo picked them up in the church van taking them to youth camp or other church functions. They alleged they were molested while staying at Russo's house, the criminal complaints say.
On March 20, Russo informed police that he wanted to speak about another victim he had molested.
Russo told police when the boy was 11, he would touch him inappropriately.
In April, Russo pleaded guilty in Wayne County court to two counts of indecent assault of a person less than 13 years of age and was sentenced on Aug. 6 by Judge Raymond Hamill to nine months to four and a half years in state prison.
Both Hamill and Vough ordered Russo to have no unsupervised contact with minors, no contact with any victims and to stay away from places minors frequent, such as parks.
Vough additionally ordered Russo to undergo sexual offender treatment.