US lawsuit accuses 13 of Boy Scouts abuses
SEATTLE (AP) — A dozen men filed a broad new lawsuit against the Boy Scouts and former adult leaders Thursday, saying that abuse occurred regularly in Washington state sites such as a popular camp outside of Seattle.
The case accuses 13 different people of abuse — the largest number of such defendants in a case filed against the Boy Scouts of America, according to the attorneys. Those named in the filing include a scoutmaster accused of repeatedly abusing two boys, a camp cook accused of raping a boy, and a business manager accused of abusing a boy in a tent.
At least one of those accused denies the allegations and says he was out of the country when the alleged abuse happened.
Attorneys said the case, filed in King County Superior Court, shows that the Boy Scouts and its affiliated organizations such as churches and schools demonstrated negligence in failing to protect Scouts. Lawyers Tim Kosnoff and Dan Fasy now represent more than 100 people nationwide who are suing the Boy Scouts.
A spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America declined comment on the case but says the organization deeply regrets that there have been times when Scouts were abused.
The lawsuit focuses particularly on Camp Brinkley, which was recently renamed Camp Edward and is located in Snohomish about an hour outside of Seattle. Case documents describe problems beginning around the late 1960s through 1992.
One of the parties in the case, identified only by his initials S.O., was a member of Troop 222 in Seattle sponsored by St. Edward Catholic Church. He joined the Boy Scouts in the eighth grade in about 1989 and soon met Scout leader Jerome Jainga, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit says Jainga had sexually suggestive conversations with the boy and eventually became program director at Camp Brinkley, where he hired the boy for a summer job. The lawsuit says Jainga regularly abused the boy.
Another member of Troop 222 also accuses Jainga of abuse in the lawsuit, describing encounters in 1986 and 1987.
In another part of the lawsuit, a plaintiff who was part of Troop 639 in Bellevue — sponsored by St. Margaret’s Church and the Diocese of Olympia — met Camp Brinkley cook Richard Barton Trujillo in about 1978. The lawsuit says Trujillo selected the 15-year-old boy for kitchen duty and then required kitchen helpers to sleep in the cook shack. That began a series of abuse encounters, according to the lawsuit.
Another man says a Boy Scout business manager, Matthew Obert Weed, assaulted him from about 1982 through 1984. The plaintiff in the case was a member of Troop 579 in Kirkland and said Weed made him stay in the same tent at Camp Brinkley and began abusing the teenager while the boy was sleeping.
One of the men involved in the lawsuit said he was abused by three different leaders — Phillip Craig Wunder, Larry DePaul Jr. and a “John Doe 2” — who helped lead a Sea Scout program based in Bellingham. One of the abuses came while scouts were out on the water in the SSS Discovery boat, according to the lawsuit.
DePaul told The Associated Press that he helped with the Sea Scout program in the 1970s but that he was not aware of any abuse or involved in anything like it. The lawsuit accuses DePaul of abuse in 1982, but he said he was working out of the country during that time and the years surrounding it.
The lawsuit also accuses six others of abuse: Eugene Thorne, Walter Rudolph Weber, Robert Dresser, Price Nick Miller, Peter Charles Poorman and Timothy Nagler. The filing also names a John Doe 1. Most of the named defendants did not immediately return phone messages Thursday or did not have publicly listed phone numbers.
Attorneys believe that Thorne, Weber and Nagler have died. They said 10 of the 13 people accused of the abuse in the lawsuit have never been criminally prosecuted.
Mike Baker can be reached at https://twitter.com/MikeBakerAP .