SOUTH OGDEN, Utah (ABC4) – The Boy Scouts of America and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are facing a new sexual abuse lawsuit. New court documents contain serious allegations from a former scout named only as “John Doe.”
The lawsuit claims John Doe was a boy scout. His troop was under the supervision of the Crossroads of the West Council, which is based in South Ogden and serves a large portion of the state. The suit alleges during his time as a scout, Doe was “…sexually abused, raped, and fondled…” by leaders and told to keep quiet.
“I think there are many more survivors out there,” Adam Krause told ABC4. Krause is the co-founder of Krause & Kinsman Law Firm. In a recent lawsuit, more than 80,000 former scouts came forward against Boy Scouts of America with claims of abuse from leaders. Krause represented 7,000 men who decided to share their stories in hopes of preventing future abuse. Krause told ABC4 that he believes that if people would have been given more time to join the suit, there could have been an additional 25,000 men who would have come forward.
He explained that many of his clients didn’t want any money, they simply wanted to be part of the movement. He said there is a reason so many men waited decades to open up about their experiences.
“It was very, very taboo to say that you were sexually assaulted or abused,” Krause stated. “Much of that would have been swept under the rug by that man’s parents, or anyone that they would have told.”
The court documents for the new lawsuit list a number of ways John was assaulted by those in positions of trust. All of which, documents claim, should have been prevented: “Defendants owed plaintiff a duty to protect plaintiff from sexual abuse committed by defendant’s employees, agents, representatives, servants, authorized volunteers, members, leaders, and scoutmasters, both prior to and/or subsequent to such acts of sexual abuse.”
“It’s a difficult deal, especially in the Boy Scouts, because they’re very intertwined with many organizations,” Krause said. He explained these cases are always hard because BSA partnered with religious institutions, community groups, camp sites and other organizations. These other organizations helped recruit leaders, scouts and provide meeting places for troops.
Regarding Crossroads of the West Council and the LDS Church the documents read: “Defendants knew or reasonably should have known that abusers posed a threat of sexual abuse to innocent boy scouts, including plaintiff.”
And regarding John Doe they state: “…has and will continue to suffer personal, physical and psychological injuries…”
The documents say John Doe will need to continue receiving treatment to address his trauma and that the value of this case is more than $300,000.
Krause told ABC4 he hopes to see a federal law that will remove the statute of limitations for sexual abuse survivors nationwide to help more survivors come forward. He stated: “This has been swept under the rug for so long that I think now is the time that we look at ourselves as a country and say we want to represent survivors.”
The LDS Church declined to comment. The Boy Scouts of America released the following statement:
The behavior described in the complaint is reprehensible and runs counter to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) stands. Our hearts go out to the survivor and their loved ones. Nothing is more important than the safety and protection of children in our Scouting programs – it is out top priority.
Throughout the BSA, we are committed to taking whatever steps are necessary to keep our members and youth in our communities safe. For more information about the BSA’s youth protection policies, please visit: www.scouting.org/youth-safety.