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Boy Scouts Hit with New Oregon Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

Sep 14, 2011 | Parker Waichman LLP

Four Oregon men have filed a child sexual abuse lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America and its Portland branch alleging the organization was negligent in allowing an accused pedophile to become a scoutmaster in the 1970s.  All of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim they were sexually abused by Steven T. Hill in 1976 and 1977, when they were between the ages of 12 and 15.

According to the Associated Press, Hill just finished serving a 20-year-sentence on an unrelated child sexual abuse charge.  The Oregon lawsuit claims that when Hill moved to the state in 1976, Boy Scout officials in Portland were informed by the California counterparts that Hill had been accused of molesting another boy while he was a scoutmaster in that state.  In spite of this information, he became a scoutmaster in Oregon.  Among the evidence the plaintiffs plan to present is a deposition taken while Hill was in prison that they say shows Portland officials were contacted by the California branch about the previous allegation.

Hill was acquitted in the late 1970s of sex abuse charges related to the Boy Scouts in Portland, according to a Reuters report.

The lawyer representing the four Oregon men told the Associated Press that the plaintiffs are just some of the scores of people who have come forward with sexual abuse claims since the Boy Scouts were ordered to pay $18.5 million last year in another lawsuit involving a former assistant scoutmaster.  In that lawsuit, a former Boy Scout had alleged that he was sexually abused by Timur Dykes in the 1980s.    Dykes was allowed to continue in his position as an assistant scoutmaster even after  a 1983 admission to a  bishop with the from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - sponsor of the Boy Scouts  -that he had molested 17 Scouts.   Dykes was eventually convicted of various abuse charges and spent time in prison. 

According to the Associated Press, the Dykes case  was also cited  as a "memory trigger" by a plaintiff in a Montana lawsuit that was filed against the Boy Scouts just last week.  That lawsuit was filed by five women who say they were sexually abused by the leader of a Montana coed Scouting program in the 1980s.

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