Five men who were allegedly abused as children are suing the Boy Scouts of America and the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) because they say both groups fraudulently presented the Boy Scouts as a safe organization for boys to participate in.
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What’s the Problem?
May 4, 2017 – According to the lawsuit, the Boy Scouts of America (“BSA”) and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“LDS”) knew that there were child molesters in the Boy Scouts, but they covered up this information and failed to warn parents and children about the dangers.
Plaintiffs further allege that BSA kept secret files on Scoutmasters accused of sexual misconduct, but that the organization didn’t reveal the contents to parents or volunteers. Additionally, Mormon Church officials knew there were pedophiles in Idaho Troops, but intentionally kept it secret from families and law enforcement, according to the lawsuit.
The Boy Scouts “engaged in a decades-long public relations campaign to represent to the government, the public, and the Scouting community, including Plaintiffs and their families, that Scouting was a safe and morally upright program that was physically, emotionally, and spiritually beneficial for boys,” the lawsuit states. “Defendants additionally represented that the adult Scout leaders, who were their agents, were appropriate and trustworthy mentors and leaders for young boys.”
Plaintiffs allege the Mormon Church acted in a similar manner.
“For example, in 1978, the president of the LDS church said that, ‘This (BSA) is not an optional program … Scouting is no longer on trial,” the complaint reads. “It is an economically, socially, and spiritually sound program.’ ”
All 5 plaintiffs were in Boy Scout troops in the Boise or Lewiston, Idaho regions.
The complaint was filed on May 1 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho.
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