LANSING, Mich. (CN) – An assistant scoutmaster sexually molested two brothers more than 200 times after their father died, and the month after he was criminally charged with it he committed suicide, the boys’ guardian says.
Mid-Michigan Guardianship Services sued the Boy Scouts, the assistant scoutmaster’s estate and an East Lansing church, in Ingham County Court.
Guardianship Services Director Kenneth DeBoer seeks damages for the boys for sexual assault and battery of a minor, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, institutional negligence and fraud.
Named as defendants are the Boy Scouts of America, the Chief Okemos Council Boy Scouts of America No. 271, the Estate of Roger Ellison Young, and the Peoples Church of East Lansing.
Young is accused of sexually abusing the boys “more than 200 times between October 2005 and August 2007, consisting of instances of fondling and masturbation, penetrated both children anally with his penis, forced the children to perform fellatio and performed fellatio on each of the children [and] told the children not to tell anyone.”
The boys’ father died in October 2005, and “Young exploited and took advantage as Scout leader of the fatherless children,” who were “conditioned” to trust him and comply with his directions, and to “respect Young as a person of authority in moral and ethical matters,” according to the complaint.
Young was charged in October 2009 with first- and second-degree criminal conduct; he killed himself on Nov. 30, 2009.
The guardian claims that the institutional defendants, including the church, which sponsored and operated the troop, knew that “since at least the 1950s, if not earlier … Scout leader positions were being used by predatory child molesters to victimize children, and that on average 50 to 60 Scout leaders per year were reported or discovered.”
DeBoer claims that “Young’s violation of the Scout rules was of long standing and dated back to 1995 when he took Boy Scouts to his house and showed them pornography and probably abused them,” and that “Roger Young may have carried a sexual disease such as AIDS and the children may become fearful of developing AIDS.”
He seeks general, compensatory and exemplary damages. The plaintiffs are represented by George Hamilton Foley.