If you have been watching the news out of Portland, you know that a jury awarded the victim $1.4 million in a sex abuse case brought against the Boy Scouts of America for their failure to protect scouts from sex abuse at the hands of one of its Scout leaders. At trial the plaintiff argued that the Scouts had been keeping a list of suspected abusers, but never came up with any procedure to stop the sexual abuse of the young men in the program. The jury agreed – and the punitive damages phase of the trial began this week. The jury awarded another $18.4 million punitive damages – for the dismal performance of the Boy Scouts to protect the plaintiff and others from a known child molester. Punitive damages are awarded to PREVENT this stuff from happening again by punishing the responsible party.
Here’s the kicker – Seattle Times reported that an Oregon Scouting Executive testified that the parents – that’s right – the parents were to blame. Right. Not the Boy Scouts with their list of suspected child abusers. Not the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints – which chartered the troop, provided its leaders and SETTLED OUT before trial of the case. No not those organizations or their leaders.
According to church member and attorney Eugene Grant (yes, I said attorney), the parents were negligent. The parents should not have reasonably trusted that the Mormon leaders or the Boy Scouts, who chose the leaders and organized the Troop, would have stopped a suspected pedophile from molesting boys entrusted to their care.
"But Grant said he believed the council was not responsible for the abuse, even though he admitted that a Scoutmaster and a Mormon bishop who both knew Dykes made "bad decisions" if they had any role in allowing the sleepovers."
By the way – the church considered the information it possessed on the sexual abuse of the young boy to be confidential. Sound familiar?
The jury is in and that "parents are to blame" defense didn’t play so well. And it shouldn’t have played well. The jury got it right – the leadership of the Boy Scouts were responsible, and now they must pay.
If you have been the victim of sexual abuse get some real help. There is justice out there for sex abuse victims.