The former longtime Yates Village Boys and Girls Club program director accused last year of having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl has died, the prosecutor in the case confirmed this week.
Ralph Moore, 67, died last Thursday. Prosecutor Jessica Lorusso said this week she has been provided with the death certificate, which is expected to officially end the prosecution.
Moore had been free on $50,000 bail since February 2012, shortly after he was arrested on four felony counts, including second-degree rape.
The accusations dated to 2004, when the victim was 13. Moore met the girl through the Boys and Girls Club, Lorusso said.
Authorities looked for other, more recent, victims, but found none, Lorusso said. They did get allegations of older incidents, but none that could be prosecuted, she said.
After the charges were lodged, the Boys and Girls Club immediately placed Moore on unpaid suspension. He was also banned from the organization’s sites in the city.
The club’s executive director said then the charges were a shock, as Moore underwent extensive screening and had never been accused of any sexually related offense. His salary prior to his arrest was about $33,000.
The criminal case has plodded along without an indictment, even more than a year after his arrest. Lorusso said that was due to a variety of reasons, including sifting through mounds of potential evidence and Moore’s defense waiving speedy trial deadlines.
Investigators executed search warrants after his arrest at his Bailey Street home in Schenectady and at a residence in Clifton Park, where he was apparently staying with a woman, authorities said. At some point, investigators uncovered a trove of video tapes.
Investigators had to go through each of those tapes to ensure they didn’t document crimes, Lorusso said. Investigators found no evidence of further crimes on the tapes, but that task took time to complete, Lorusso said.
There were also standard talks about resolving the case, as well as having to focus on other cases, Lorusso said.
There was enough evidence to go forward, though, Lorusso said. They had the victim’s testimony, as well as secretly recorded conversations with Moore in which he made “veiled admissions,” the prosecutor said.
Moore was represented by attorney Brian Devane, who declined comment on the case Wednesday.
Lorusso said an investigator from her office was reaching out to the victim with news of Moore’s death, but Lorusso said she was unsure if the victim had been reached.
Victims can take such developments in many ways, according to Amy Russell, deputy director of the National Child Protection Training Center in Minnesota. Speaking generally because she was unfamiliar with Moore’s case, Russell said victims can have hard feelings because the case now will never be resolved in court.
Russell said children often feel they are responsible for their victimization and a conclusion in the judicial system can help them resolve those feelings.
It also might be enough that, with the accused perpetrator’s death and his initial arrest, her allegations were taken seriously.
“One of the best things for any person coming forward is feeling believed by someone,” Russell said.