Janice Morse reports:
A young man, now living in Arizona, alleges that when he was about 11 years old, his Boy Scout leader sexually abused him “on multiple occasions,” at Kings Island in Warren County, among other places, a lawsuit filed today in Warren County says.
The suit, which does not specify where the boy’s Scout troop was based, alleges that a now-deceased Scoutmaster sexually abused the boy around 1999. That was about four years after the boy, Thomas Abner, and his family became acquainted with the Scout leader. The suit makes claims of negligence and fraud against the Boy Scouts of America.
Filed in Warren County’s Common Pleas Court, alleges that Scouts “knew or should have known that the (Scout leader) was spending substantial time alone” with the boy and his family outside of Scouting, which violated the organization’s child-protection policies. The suit claims the Scouts were negligent for failing to discipline the Scoutmaster or to warn the boy or his mother “of the risk of molestation” when spending time alone or in non-Scouting activities.
“The risk of molestation in Scouting was not open and obvious, because BSA had taken numerous steps to conceal the magnitude of the problem, and…denied that there was a child sexual-abuse problem in Scouting,” the suit says. “From its own history and detailed written records of abuse in Scouting, BSA knew that the Scouting program posed a risk of boys being abused by Scout leaders, especially when the Scout leader formed personal relationships with Scouts in fatherless homes, and spent time with them outside of Scouting.”
The boy trusted the Scouts “to provide him with a safe environment in which at least BSA’s own child-protection rules were followed,” the suit says. Yet the organization’s child-protection policies “were inadequate (or inadequately enforced),” the suit says.
The suit seeks damages in excess of $25,000.