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Monday, June 17, 2024 | Back issues
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Boy Scouts Again Accused|of Allowing Sexual Abuse

PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - Kelly Clark and Paul Mones, attorneys who won an $18.5 million sexual abuse lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America last year, have filed a $5.25 million suit on behalf of another former scout, claiming that the Boy Scouts let a known pedophile keep his job as a scoutmaster and molest him hundreds of times.

According to the complaint, Hogan began to molest the scout, identified as H.M., in 1981 by "engaging in fondling, masturbation, oral sex and sodomy" during and in transit to Scouting activities. The abuse allegedly continued until 1988, when H.M. left the Scouts.

But H.M. was by no means the first child to be abused by Hogan, the lawsuit states. As far back as 1967, parents in Redlands, Calif. complained to a bishop with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which co-operates the youth organization, that Hogan had sexually fondled their son, according to the complaint. Hogan allegedly admitted he had abused the boy.

Hogan and his wife moved to Portland in the Fall of 1967 where the local Mormon bishop in charge of scouting activities learned that Hogan's church file had been "red flagged" because of Hogan's self-admitted sexual abuse of boys, the lawsuit states.

But Hogan was allowed to continue as a scoutmaster and repeatedly abused children even as at least 15 complaints were made to successive Morman bishops about his behavior, according to the complaint.

The Mormon church sponsors Boy Scout Troops and shares in the administration and training of scoutmasters with the Boy Scouts of America in Multnomah County, Ore.

In last year's trial, Kelly and Mones relied heavily upon the so-called "perversion files", maintained by the Boy Scouts of America, which documented extensive complaints of sexual abuse of Scouts by Scoutmasters back to nearly the founding of the organization.

The Boy Scouts of America has fought to keep the perversion files sealed, though the judge in last year's trial declared the documents admissible. Clark argued before the Oregon Supreme Court in January that the files are public records under Oregon's constitution. A ruling on that issue is expected soon.

Regardless of the public release of the records, Clark announced his intention to seek access to the files in the current lawsuit.

"They tell the story of what the BSA knew about child abuse in its troops, when BSA knew it, and what BSA did - and did not - do about it," the press release stated.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday names only the Boy Scouts of America and its local council, the Cascade Pacific Council. The lawsuit specifically claims that, in addition to letting Hogan keep his job as a volunteer scoutmaster, Boy Scouts of America failed to properly train and supervise the Mormon bishops, which the suit maintains acted as direct agents of the Boy Scouts organization.

H.M. settled his claims with the Mormon church before filing the lawsuit, according to a press release.

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