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Warren County jury hears from accusers and attorneys in camp counselor sex abuse trial

February 06, 2019 06:45 PM

QUEENSBURY - Dylan Stolz, 51, is facing 27 counts, accused of sexually abusing nine boys as young as 8 years old.

Prosecutors say the abuse took place at Brant Lake Camp, a summer camp in Horicon that often attracts children from affluent families. According to the camp's website, It costs about $14,000 to stay there for seven weeks.

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The first witness Wednesday was a boy who testified Stolz, "rubbed his hand over my penis. He put his hand under my pajamas and started rubbing my penis."

It was that child's June 2018 letter home to his parents in the Bronx that led to Stolz's firing and a police investigation.

The then-9-year-old writing, "Dylan touched my penis. Everything is good except for that."

"And that sets forth a chain of events that ultimately leads to eight more children from that camp coming forward," Warren County Assistant District Attorney Ben Smith told the jury. "All of these acts were done for the sexual gratification of Dylan Stolz. He went boy to boy to boy, over years."

If convicted of the top count, Stolz could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.

He turned down an offer that included a proposed sentence of seven to 12 years. According to his attorney, that's because he's not guilty and is the victim of a homesick child who made up a story so he could go home.

"I know of a way I can get out of camp. I know of a way I can get back home. I'll say that somebody touched my penis," Defense Attorney James Knox said during his opening statement to the jury.

Knox says the "innocent, incidental" contact was "transformed" into something it wasn't by "elite families who have power and influence."

Knox said, "All of a sudden, the beloved counselor became the person that everyone who could attacked. In essence, they've tried to peck him to death."

Prosecutors pointed out that Stolz's original accuser stayed at camp and never went home last summer, shooting down the defense theory that he made up the story so he could leave camp.

Credits

Mark Mulholland

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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