January 25, 2018
Portland, Oregon – A new lawsuit was filed today in Multnomah County Circuit Court against the Boy Scouts of America and its local corporation (the Cascade Pacific Council of the Boy Scouts of America).
The lawsuit stems from sexual abuse that occurred in early 2017. The victim (referred to in the lawsuit using the fictitious name “Travis Doe”) was 12 years old at the time of the abuse. The abuser – a Scoutmaster named Douglas James Young, Jr. – was convicted of criminal charges in early January for his sexual abuse of the Plaintiff in today’s case.
Douglas Young (46) was a Scoutmaster for years in Lebanon, Oregon (near Albany, Oregon). Today’s civil lawsuit alleges that Young sexually abused the boy on at least four separate occasions. The victim was a boy scout in local Boy Scout Troop 420, which met at the First Christian Church in Lebanon, Oregon. Young was the victim’s Scoutmaster at the time of the abuse and used Scouting-related activities to gain access to his victim, according to the lawsuit.
Young was also a foster parent and volunteered with abused children at ABC House (according to Young’s lawyer’s statements in Court).
Young was arrested in March of 2017 on charges that he sexually abused a boy under 14. Thereafter, police continued their investigation and learned of more reported victims. According to media reports, the police located and interviewed those other victims (some of whom are now over 18 years old). Young was soon arrested again on additional charges of child sexual abuse. In all, the Linn County District Attorney indicted Young on 43 criminal charges involving 10 different victims.
On January 9, 2018, Young entered a plea of “no contest” to 12 criminal charges related to child sexual abuse and exploitation – including multiple counts of Sexual abuse in the First Degree, Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree, Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree, and Attempting To Use A Child In Display Of Sexually Explicit Conduct (for Youngs efforts to use victims in producing pornography).
According to criminal court records, the charges involved young victims (most under the age of 14 at the time of the abuse) and included “deviate sexual intercourse” including “genital-anal contact,” “genital-oral contact,” groping the victims’ genitals with his hands, and similar sexual abuse. The criminal charges involved conduct occurring between June of 2002 and February of 2017.
Young was sentenced on January 9, 2018 to 282 months (more than 23 years) in prison for his sexual abuse and exploitation of 10 children.
The prosecutor in Young’s criminal case was quoted by media as explaining that: “The defendant was in a position of authority and trust for years as a Boy Scout leader…. He used that position to target and groom boys for his sexual gratification.”
“Based on our experience with more than 100 other cases of child sexual abuse, we are confident that the abuse for which Mr. Young was criminally convicted likely represents only a small portion of all the sexual abuse he inflicted. It is very likely that there are other young victims out there – including other Scouts — who are searching for the courage to speak up about what they suffered,” said Peter Janci of Crew Janci LLP, attorneys for the victim in today’s lawsuit.
Lebanon police said officers had prior contact with Young over the last 12 years. According to media reports, police documents show Young was questioned in the past about other allegations of sexual abuse.
The lawsuit alleges that the Boy Scouts of America was aware that Young was the subject of police investigations regarding multiple allegations of child sexual abuse. The lawsuit also alleges that the Boy Scouts were aware of other “red flags” – including violations of youth safety policies and other strange and bizarre behavior. The lawsuit alleges that the Boy Scouts were negligent in allowing a suspected child sexual abuser to continue as a Scout Leader.
“The Boy Scouts knew everything they need to know to prevent this. The evidence will show that there were red flags everywhere. Despite those red flags, rules violations, and allegations of child sexual abuse, Douglas Young was allowed to continue as a Scoutmaster for years. This type of disregard for child safety is completely unacceptable in 2017 and 2018,” said Stephen Crew of Crew Janci LLP, attorneys for the victim in today’s lawsuit.
The lawsuit also includes a claim of “fraud” against the Boy Scouts, which alleges that the Boy Scouts have represented to the public that they have reformed and that they have a “zero tolerance” policy, when in fact, Scoutmaster Douglas Young was allowed to continue as a Scoutmaster despite having previously been investigated on allegations of child sexual abuse.
“The fact that Young was not previously convicted does not matter. Being a youth leader is not a right; the Boy Scouts don’t have to wait until he is convicted to kick the guy out. We believe the evidence in this case will show – and a jury will find — that any reasonable person would have seen enough red flags to remove Douglas Young from his position of Scoutmaster,” said Janci.
The situation involving Douglas Young is only the most recent examples of a historical problem of tens of thousands of adult Scout Leaders sexually abusing children. Many of those situations were documented in secret files (called the “Perversion Files” or “Ineligible Volunteer Files”).
The Boy Scouts of America began keeping secret files on pedophiles soon after the organization formed in 1910. By January of 1935, BSA had accumulated approximately 1,000 pedophile files. Those secret files were maintained under lock and key at Boy Scouts of America headquarters. Over the following decades, more than ten thousand similar files were created by the Scouts. However, Boy Scout officials have admitted in sworn testimony that the organization destroyed thousands of its files over the years.
In many instances, according to testimony from Boy Scouts executives, the Boy Scouts of America did not report the allegations of child sexual abuse to law enforcement. Attorneys at Crew Janci were part of the legal team that won the first major release of a large portion of the Boy Scouts’ secret files on pedophile Scout Leaders (those existing files that were created between 1965-1985). The files are publicly available on the Crew Janci LLP website.
“The Boy Scouts would like the public to believe that the Perversion Files system was designed solely to protect boys in Scouting. But the century-long record, the publicly available Perversion Files, and BSA’s lax response to its pedophile problem all point to the fact that the organization has historically put its reputation ahead of the safety of children,” said Crew.
Although some of the suspected pedophiles reported to Boy Scouts of America were excluded, some Scout Leaders accused of child sexual abuse were still allowed to continue as Scout Leaders under a secret internal BSA policy called “probation.” Parents and Boy Scouts were never notified of the existence of the probation program. Attorneys for the victim in today’s lawsuit said that they did not know yet whether Douglas Young was ever placed on the Boy Scouts’ internal probation program.
In 2012, The Los Angeles Times and attorneys from Crew Janci LLP published online databases that together make available approximately 5,000 of the Perversion Files that were publicly released through child sexual abuse lawsuits against the BSA.
The Los Angeles Times database lists 57 Oregon Perversion Files created during 1992-2004 that BSA has refused to make public. http://spreadsheets.latimes.com/boyscouts-cases/
“We don’t know if the Boy Scouts created a Perversion File on Young. If they did, it would not have been shared with the public. Even today, the Boy Scouts policy is to keep these files a secret — locked away in their headquarters. Those files contain information about individuals who are still in Oregon; some are probably still involved with children. Parents deserve that information, so they can take steps to protect their children – but the Boy Scouts refuse to disclose that information,” said Janci
“The #MeToo movement reflects a growing understanding that information about sexual abuse and assault should not be hidden or kept quiet. But, even today, the Boy Scouts of America continues to keep secrets about hidden dangers to children,” said Janci.
“Often times, people will say: ‘Things have changed; Scouting is safer now.’ Sadly, we believe that the facts of this case show that is not true. There is a very real danger to the public: sexual abuse is happening in Scouting right here, right now,” said Crew. “As long as situations like this one are allowed to play out – and individuals like this are permitted to serve as Scout Leaders – we fear that Scouting is not safe for children.”
Attorneys at Crew Janci LLP have represented nearly 100 victims of sexual abuse in cases against the Boy Scouts of America around the country (with the assistance of local attorneys), including in: Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Minnesota, Maine, New Hampshire, and New Jersey. In Oregon, Crew Janci law firm has represented dozens of victims of sexual abuse in Scouting. Attorneys from Crew Janci were part of the Plaintiff’s trial team in the 2010 case of Kerry Lewis v. Boy Scouts of America, which resulted in a $19.9 million verdict for the victim
Anyone with information about Douglas Young or abuse in Lebanon Oregon Scout Troop 420 is asked to contact the victim’s attorneys at Crew Janci LLP at: 1-888-407-0224.