PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Two separate lawsuits, each seeking $9 million in damages, have been filed against the Boy Scouts of America and its Cascade Pacific Council.
According to the lawsuits:
- The victims are brothers;
- One was born in 1953, the other in 1956;
- Both participated in Troop 220 in Oregon City;
- Both victims claim the troop leader sexually abused the then boys between 1965 and 1968;
- The victims claim the scout leader convinced the boys to swim nude;
- The scout leader took nude photos of the boys;
- The scout leader slept in the boys’ sleeping bags and fondled their genitals;
- During a sleepover, the boys were told to strip and shown nude photos.
The lawsuits state that the Boy Scouts of America “knew that child molesters like (the scout leader) were using scouting to gain access to and gain the trust of scouts…in order to molest them.” The lawsuits claim that BSA and the Cascade Pacific Council knew the scout leader “regularly took nude photos of scouts.”
The BSA Cascade Pacific Council, through its director, Matthew Devore, issued this statement:“Nothing is more important than the safety of our youth members and we are profoundly saddened when anyone uses their position to harm children. The Cascade Pacific Council, Boy Scouts of America, extends its deepest sympathies to any person who has been hurt by child sexual abuse. While we cannot discuss ongoing litigation, any instance of child victimization or abuse is intolerable and unacceptable.“The behavior from more than five decades ago included in these allegations runs counter to everything for which the BSA stands. Recognizing youth protection requires sustained vigilance, in the years since these incidents took place we have continued to develop and enhance our efforts to protect youth, regularly consulting with experts from law enforcement, child safety, psychology, and other disciplines to ensure its efforts consistently evolve along with the ever-changing awareness of the dangers and challenges facing youth. “Today, the BSA seeks to prevent child abuse through a comprehensive program of education on the subject, the chartered organization leader selection process, criminal background and other checks, policies and procedures to serve as barriers to abuse and the prompt mandatory reporting of any allegation or suspicion of abuse.”For more information about the BSA’s youth protection policies, please visit http://www.scoutingnewsroom.org/key-topics/youth-protection/.
KOIN 6 News is not identifying to scout leader because he is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit and has never been charged with a crime.