A man is suing the central Arkansas chapter of the Boy Scouts of America on the claims of sexual abuse and negligence.
In a lawsuit filed on Wednesday, a man accused a leader of Boy Scouts Troop 16 and Webelos Unit 13 in Hot Springs of sexually abusing him on eight different occasions between 1979 and 1980. The plaintiff was between the ages of 10 and 12 at the time of the abuse.
The scout leader at the time of the abuse, who was in his mid-40s, was not listed as the defendant in the lawsuit.
However, the Quapaw Area Council, which oversees the entire region of Boy Scout groups, is listed as the defendant in the lawsuit. The lawsuit accuses the council of allowing the scout leader to volunteer even though they knew he had been accused of sexually abusing another young boy in Georgia.
After learning that the scout leader had sexually abused the plaintiff, the Quapaw Area Council had allegedly covered up the abuse by telling the plaintiff to not tell his family and by “facilitating and encouraging the payment of a severance for [the scout leader] to help ensure that information about his abuse of boys was kept secret,” the lawsuit states.
According to the lawsuit, the council did not report the abuse to law enforcement. The lawsuit also says that the purported abuse in Hot Springs is part of a systemic problem in the Boy Scouts of America. The organization has “aggressively marketed the wholesomeness and safety of its programs” but concealed “certain knowledge that pedophiles had been infiltrating [Boy Scouts groups] in large numbers for many years,” the lawsuit says.
The plaintiff has accused the council of negligence and fraudulent concealment. He has requested a jury trial and is seeking compensatory damages for years of “emotional distress and mental anguish.”
Child sexual abuse is a crime that often goes undetected. You have the power to make an enormous, positive difference in a child’s life. Here are steps to take if you think a child is a victim of sexual abuse:
As is the case with many crimes, those responsible for child sex abuse can be tried in both criminal and civil court. In criminal court, they may be sentenced to jail time, prison time, or probation. In civil court, they can be sued for damages caused by their actions. Damages for sexual abuse cases may include:
If you believe that your child has been the victim of sexual abuse, contact Thomas J. Henry. For over two decades, Thomas J. Henry has been an advocate for sexually abused children across the state of Texas. Our experienced child injury lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to take your call. Contact us today for a free legal consultation.