LDS Church and Boy Scouts Settle Pennsylvania Sex Abuse Lawsuit

pennsylvania-sealThe Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) and the Boy Scouts of America have settled a sexual abuse lawsuit involving Vance Hein, a scoutmaster and prominent member of his local Mormon Church.

While a scoutmaster in Pennsylvania, Hein sexually assaulted Melvin Novak, then 14. Novak said he was abused at Hein’s home, on a trip to Canada, at parks, campsites and other locations.

Prior to the civil sexual abuse lawsuit, Hein was arrested, prosecuted, and plead guilty to sexually abusing Novak in 1999. He was sentenced to 15 years of probation. During his period of probation, Hein was arrested for having child pornography on his computer and is serving 15 to 30 years in prison.

According to CNN, “The scoutmaster, Vance Hein, had been forced in resign from scouting in the early 1990s after reports surfaced that he failed to report a fellow scoutmaster who was engaged in homosexual activities. That scoutmaster ended up going to prison for sexual assaults on minors. Hein’s name was added to the Boy Scouts of America’s ineligible volunteer files, which are widely known as the ‘perversion files.’ The documents, which were made public in 2012, are lists of scout leaders suspected of sexual abuse or homosexual activity. However, three years after being kicked out of scouting, Hein was allowed to rejoin the scouts after getting letters of recommendation attesting to his character. One of those letters was from Hein’s influential Mormon Bishop Jack Moyer, who wrote that Hein was ‘highly respected and liked.’”

The case was settled last summer for a confidential amount.

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

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