Boy Scouts Must Do More Than Apologize that Abuse Happened

Talk is cheap. Only action proves sincerity and integrity. While Boy Scouts of America publicly apologize that sexual abuse happened in its program — to our clients and others — BSA denies responsibility for the abuse of children in Scouts or for the lasting harm resulting from the abuse.

As the attorney for six women in who have sued BSA and the Montana Council for sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of the adult leader of their coed Explorer Scout group in the 1970s, we’ve seen this exact hollow “apology” from BSA just this week. As I told the Great Falls Tribune, “They’re sorry for what happened, but they [take] no accountability.”

Leininger abused these girls when he was acting as their Scout leader, on Explorer camp outs, while working on merit badges, and when he took the girls individually on out-of-town trips, supposedly on Scout business.  He was convicted of rape and died while in state custody.

Montana District Court Judge James Reynolds issued a pre-trial ruling last week that said the organization had a duty as a matter of law to protect girls in its co-ed Explorer program from a foreseeable risk of sexual assault.

The judge also ruled that the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer Files, also known as the Perversion Files, created before these girls were abused in 1974 and 1975, will be admissible as evidence in our trial.  Trial is scheduled to start November 27th in Great Falls, Montana.

In my interview with KULR TV, I noted that:

I think it’s important for people to realize…when the Boy Scouts now want to bring in girls, into their Cub Scout program, that the Boy Scouts have let girls be a part of the Boy Scouts program since 1971. And before they open up the program to girls even younger, they really need to come clean about their history of sex abuse of both boys and girls in scouting.

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

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