New Idaho Boy Scouts and LDS Church Sex Abuse Lawsuit

FOR RELEASE MONDAY, MAY 1, 2017

PRESS CONFERENCE: 10:30 AM, MONDAY, MAY 1, 2017

Springhill Suites by Marriott Boise Parkcenter

Address: 424 E. Parkcenter Blvd, Boise, ID 83706

 

Five Former Scouts File Sex Abuse Case Against

 Boy Scouts of America and LDS Church

 For More Information:

Attorney Andrew Chasan: 208-345-3760; andrew.chasan@chasanwalton.com

Attorney Gilion C. Dumas: 503-952-6789; gilion@dumaslawgroup.com

Attorney Timothy Walton: 208-345-3760; timwalton2000@hotmail.com

 

BOISE, IDAHO –  Five men will file a lawsuit Monday against the Boy Scouts of America and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for their childhood sexual abuse that occurred as the result of the fraud those institutions committed by not informing Scouts, their parents, the Scouting community, and law enforcement of the known threat of child molesters in Boy Scouts.

Copies of the Complaint filed in the lawsuit will be available at the press conference, along with other useful documents, including BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer file on James Schmidt and Scout photos of Plaintiffs. One of the Plaintiffs will be available for interview by telephone.

The Plaintiffs in the case, John Does XX, XXI, XXII, Shane Julian, and Riley Gilroy, recall the sex abuse and exploitation they endured at the hands of the Scout leaders entrusted with their guidance, safety, and well-being.  Specifically, these Plaintiffs were abused by their Scout leaders Lawrence Libey, Doug Bowen, and James Schmidt in the Lewiston and Boise areas.

Tim Walton, one of the attorneys representing the men, explains that the fraud claims are based on the coverup by the BSA of a known danger in Scouting: “For decades, BSA misled families about the safety of Scouting by covering up the known danger of sexual molesters targeting Scouting to access victims. BSA knew from the thousands of ‘Perversion Files’ it kept on Scout volunteers accused of sexual misconduct with children that Scouts were at risk, but intentionally chose to keep this information hidden from parents, volunteers, and sponsoring organizations.”

The lawsuit alleges that LDS and Boy Scout officials knew there was a problem with child molesters in Idaho Scout troops, including knowledge about Lawrence Libey and James Schmidt, and intentionally concealed this problem from Scout families and law enforcement. Attorney Gilion Dumas said: “The Boy Scouts’ own records and newspaper stories confirm that there were at least 15 child molester Scout leaders in Idaho in the 1970s and 1980s when these Plaintiffs were abused. Most of the troops affected were sponsored by the LDS Church sponsored. On a national basis, the Boy Scouts had been aware of child molesters using Scouting to gain access to boys since about 1920. The Defendants should have warned the boys and their parents of this danger.”

The case filed Monday in United States District Court for the District of Idaho by attorneys Andrew Chasan and Timothy Walton of the Idaho law firm of Chasan and Walton LLC, and attorneys Gilion Dumas and Ashley Vaughn of Portland’s Dumas Law Group LLC. These two firms frequently represent adult victims of childhood sexual abuse against the institutions that allowed the abuse.

The same lawyers represent other men in an earlier lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America and the LDS Church. That case, which was also filed in the U.S. District Court in Idaho, went up to the Idaho Supreme Court in 2015 and that court ruled that the case could go forward on a fraud theory. Attorney Andy Chasan explained that ruling: “The decision by the Idaho Supreme Court means that victims of child sexual abuse in Idaho whose claims may be barred by the regular statute of limitations could have a way to seek justice against organizations that allowed their abuse to happen, such as the Boy Scouts, the LDS Church, or other youth groups.”

Like in the earlier case, the Plaintiffs in this case allege that the BSA and the LDS Church deceived them by telling them to trust their Scout leaders and, at the same time, not telling them about the dangers of child molesting Scout leaders. The men allege that they did not discover this fraud until recently, when they learned that both organizations knew of the dangers of child molesters targeting Scouts, both as a general problem and regarding specific Scoutmasters within the organizations.

Attorney Tim Walton said, “From our experience representing clients who were sexually abused as children, we know that an abuse survivor often believes that he was the only one abused, that somehow it was his fault the abuse happened. These cases allow the client to realize he wasn’t the only one, that the abuser often abused dozens of children.

Attorney Andy Chasan added, “Also, abuse survivors often carry their horrible secret for years. They feel that no one has ever heard them, or understands their pain. These cases allow us to restore their voice. Those responsible will be held accountable. Justice will be done. And our clients’ voices will finally be heard.”

John Doe XXI, who was abused by Doug Bowen in the mid-1970s, said he came forward in hopes of gaining justice for himself and others affected by the abuse they experienced, adding, “I hope that this case will help right the wrong that was done to me and others when we were children in Boy Scouts.”

Attorney Gilion Dumas said that, based on reports of these perpetrators’ history of sexual abuse of children, it is likely that there are witnesses or other victims with relevant information, “We want these witnesses or other survivors of abuse by Scout leaders to know that, if they come forward, they will be listened to and treated with respect.”

Anyone who has information regarding this matter, or any abuse by Scout leaders, is encouraged to contact the attorneys listed below:

Andrew Chasan: 208-345-3760; andrew.chasan@chasanwalton.com

Gilion C. Dumas: 503-952-6789; gilion@dumaslawgroup.com

Timothy Walton: 208-345-3760; timwalton2000@hotmail.com

 

 

Dumas Law Group has law offices in Portland, Oregon and serves clients in Oregon, Washington, California, and other states.

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