$25 million – The six allege a former troop leader and church teacher abused them
Thursday, October 04, 2007
The Oregonian Staff
The lawsuit contends that Timur Van Dykes, 51, molested Boy Scouts in Troop 719, which was supervised by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The lawsuit includes two brothers who dropped a previous complaint. It does not name Dykes as a defendant.
The number of Boy Scout leaders ejected in
Kelly Clark, the
“We also intend to prove that both the Mormon Church and Boy Scouts were well aware, by at least the 1960s, that they had a serious institution-wide infestation of child abuse, stretching across the country, involving hundreds of predators and thousands of children, and that they failed miserably to take responsible steps to clean up their organizations.”
The lawsuit reserves the option to seek punitive damages against both the Boy Scouts and the Mormon church. Both organizations knew pedophiles were using their organizations to access victims and failed to implement adequate child sex-abuse policies, the lawsuit says.
Officials of the Mormon Church, their
Several recent lawsuits target pedophilia in Scouting, including church-sponsored troops. The Mormon church became a chartered partner of the Boy Scouts in 1913 and supervises troops throughout the
The Mormon church considers Scout leadership a sacred calling,
Internal Boy Scout documents show that as of Dec. 31, 2004, two of every three traditional troops in the organization’s western region were chartered by the Mormon church. Nationwide, about a third of troops are part of the Mormon church.
In the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Multnomah County Circuit Court, the six men allege that the Mormon church discovered in 1981 or 1982 that Dykes had molested a Scout. The lawsuit contends that after learning of abuse the organizations failed to thoroughly investigate and interrogate Dykes, failed to report abuse to law enforcement, failed to provide mental health services to victims and failed to remove Dykes from contact with children.
After the alleged 1981 or 1982 incident, which does not appear to have resulted in a criminal investigation,
Dykes has been a source of legal troubles for the Boy Scouts before. Three lawsuits alleging abuse filed in 1987 resulted in undisclosed settlements. The mother of one of Dykes’ earliest alleged victims told The Oregonian in 1995 that abuse of her son contributed to his suicide.
The first criminal sex-abuse charges against Dykes came in 1983, when two boys told
In 1985, Dykes admitted abusing more Scouts. He pleaded guilty to first-degree sexual abuse and sexual penetration with a foreign object and spent time in prison before he was paroled in 1987.
In subsequent years, Dykes committed 23 more sex crimes unrelated to Scouting.
Dykes now lives in an apartment in
Peter Zuckerman: 503-294-5919; peterzuckerman@ news.oregonian.com