Iowa Boy Scout Abuse Lawsuit Filed

We filed a civil lawsuit last week against the Boy Scouts of America and the Hawkeye Area Council in Iowa for sexual abuse our client suffered as a child in the 1970s. The perpetrator was a volunteer for the Boy Scouts Hawkeye Area Council at the time of the assaults. Our client filed the case as “John Doe,” as he can do in Iowa (and most states).

The lawsuit alleges that between 1971 and 1975, John Fay was the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 123 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa when he “sexually abused (the) Plaintiff in virtually every way possible.” Our client was abused during car rides and during Scout camping trips. Additionally, he and other boys were forced to dance around naked at Scout events and the other boys were encouraged to touch the naked boys.

The case claims that BSA and its local Council are responsible for Fay’s molestation of John Doe because these organizations knew Fay acted inappropriately with boys but failed to remove or supervise him.

As I said in a local television news interview about the case, “Our client filed this lawsuit to try to right a wrong that was done to him as a child. He seeks justice from BSA and the Hawkeye Area Council because these organizations knew that his Troop leader was a danger and failed to protect him.”

The case also alleges that BSA failed to warn John Doe and his parents of the danger of molestation known to BSA through its own “Ineligible Volunteer Files” created and maintained by BSA on volunteers accused of sexually abusing children. Instead of using information in the files to better protect children, BSA used its IV File system to cover up knowledge of child molesters in Scouting and put the organization’s reputation before the safety of children.

Over 1,200 BSA Ineligible Volunteer Files that BSA had labeled “Perversion Files” were made public by order of the Oregon Supreme Court following a 2010 sex abuse trial against BSA in Portland, Oregon. The jury in that trial awarded over $18 million in punitive damages against BSA. I was one of the trial attorneys representing the plaintiff in that case.

Not all of BSA’s IV Files are online. Right now, there is a list online of 77 BSA Ineligible Volunteer files involving Boy Scout volunteers in Iowa removed from Boy Scouts because they were accused of child sexual abuse or similar acts. Of these, 29 are listed by name and the IV Files are available to download. The rest are listed by an identifying number instead of name and list only the year the volunteer was removed, the town, and the Troop or Pack number.

In this case, John Doe alleges claims against the Defendants for negligence, fraud, and sexual battery. He seeks compensatory and punitive damages in an amount to be decided by the jury.

We think it likely that there may be other victims or witnesses with information relevant to this case. We want these witnesses or other survivors to know, that if they come forward, they will be listened to and treated with respect.

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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