Boy Scouts Settle Sex Abuse Lawsuit in Texas
DALLAS (CN) - The Boy Scouts of America have settled a lawsuit brought by a former Scout who claims a troop leader sexually abused him for two years.
The agreement ends a showdown at the Texas Supreme Court over whether the Irving, Texas-based Boy Scouts must turn over more internal "perversion files" documenting years of sexual abuse complaints.
Now in his 20s and under the pseudonym John Adams, the plaintiff sued the Boy Scouts and the Alamo Area Council for negligence in 2011 in Bexar County Court, San Antonio. He claimed Troop 41 leader James Hyatt sexually abused him in 2004 and 2005.
"From at least the 1960's, defendants knew that predatory sexual abusers were registering as scoutmasters, assistant scoutmasters and adult volunteers for the purpose of molesting and otherwise harming scouts," the complaint said. "Based upon this actual knowledge the BSA knew for decades prior to the abuse of plaintiff that it had an institution-wide child abuse problem."
In 2008, a Bexar County jury convicted Hiatt of indecency with a child and aggravated sexual assault of a child.
The Boy Scouts announced the settlement Wednesday when it filed an unopposed motion to abate an original proceeding with the Texas Supreme Court, ending the lawsuit. The Scouts had originally asked the high court to toss a January 2013 order by Judge Laura Salinas of the 288th District Court in Bexar County that compelled production of the additional "ineligible volunteer files."
Boy Scouts officials did not respond to requests for comment Thursday.
Boy Scouts spokesman Deron Smith declined to disclose details of the settlement to The Associated Press, but said any instance of child abuse is "intolerable and unacceptable."
The plaintiff's attorney, Paul Mones in Portland, Ore., did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday evening.
Mones and attorney Kelly Clark, also of Portland, made headlines when they won a $20 million judgment against the Boy Scouts in Multnomah County Court in Oregon in 2010. That client also claimed had had been sexually abused by Scout leaders.
After receiving a favorable ruling from the Oregon Supreme Court, Mones and Clark released the Scout abuse files online. The documents pertain to claims from 1965 to 1985.