Our law firm recently settled a sexual abuse lawsuit against the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) and the Boy Scouts for not preventing the sexual abuse of a child in Idaho and Oregon that occurred in the late 1960’s. The case involved fraud claims under Idaho law as well as claims under Oregon law for abuse that occurred in the state of Oregon.
The fraud claim against the LDS Church alleged that the Church knew the Scoutmaster had molested at least one other child previously, but failed to warn the parents of kids in the troop.
The fraud claim against the Boy Scouts alleged that the Boy Scouts of America promoted the Scouting program as a beneficial program for boys and Scoutmasters as model citizens with a “sacred calling” to help boys, thereby creating a reputation understood by the public in general, families of potential Scouts, and Scouts themselves. The Boy Scouts knew that this reputation was false in part because they knew that there was a risk to Scouts of being molested by adult volunteers. By creating the good reputation with the expectation that Scouts and their families would rely on it, without disclosing the risk, the Boy Scouts made misrepresentations that amounted to fraud.