Another lawsuit stemming from child sexual abuse perpetrated by Scoutmaster Douglas James Young, Jr. 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). One of Young’s victims filed suit against the Boy Scouts in January; two more victims are now coming forward to seek justice and accountability for the Boy Scouts.
The Plaintiffs in this lawsuit are two minor victims who were sexually abused by Young in 2016. Referred to in the lawsuit by fictitious names (“Brian Doe” and “Carl Doe”), the two Plaintiffs were only 11 and 14 years old at the time of the abuse. Young was convicted of criminal charges in early January for his sexual abuse of these Plaintiffs and 8 other victims.
Douglas Young (47) was a Scoutmaster for years in Lebanon, Oregon (near Albany, Oregon). Today’s civil lawsuit alleges that Young sexually abused the boys over the course of a year. The victims were Scouts in local Boy Scout Troop 420, which met at the First Christian Church in Lebanon, Oregon. Young was the victims’ Scoutmaster at the time of the abuse and used Scouting-related activities to gain access to his victims, according to the lawsuit.
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 Young’s 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.”
“This man was a predator who openly groomed the boys and families around him; he was investigated by the authorities multiple times and even wrote a blog about it. Yet somehow – in 2015 and 2016 – the Boy Scouts allowed Mr. Young to continue as a Scoutmaster over trusting boys, including our clients. In this case, we will be pressing to get to the bottom of how this could happen. We will be asking: are the Boy Scouts really doing everything possible to screen and supervise their Scoutmasters and ensure that minor Scouts are safe from predatory and manipulative adults?,” said Peter Janci of Crew Janci LLP, attorneys for the victims 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.
Young maintained a blog where he wrote about being investigated by police and by Oregon Department of Human Services for allegations of child sexual abuse. He also wrote about being “a very physical person” and about how he enjoyed co-sleeping and snuggling with boys living in his home. The boys would wear boxers while he wore pajama pants, and sometimes he would “‘spoon’ with them, letting their bare backs press against [his] bare chest.” Young’s blog was accessible by the public.
Young also operated as a foster parent (according to Young’s lawyer’s statements in court).
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 lawsuit also includes a claim of “fraud” against the Boy Scouts, which alleges that the Boy Scouts have represented to the public that it has reformed and that it has 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.
“We know that the Boy Scouts have a long history of child sexual abuse occurring within its ranks, and publicly available documents show that the Boy Scouts have historically protected its reputation and pedophile Scoutmasters over the children participating in its programs. Unfortunately, this case suggests that this history continues to this day,” said Stephen Crew of Crew Janci LLP, attorneys for the victims in today’s lawsuit.
The Boy Scouts of America began keeping secret files on pedophiles (called the “Perversion Files” or “Ineligible Volunteer Files”) 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 the Boy Scouts of America headquarters. Over the following decades, more than ten thousand similar files were created by the Boy 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.
Although some of the suspected pedophiles reported to the Boy Scouts of America were excluded from volunteering, 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 Scouts were never notified of the existence of the probation program.
Attorneys for the victims in today’s lawsuit said that they did not know yet whether the Boy Scouts created a Perversion File on Young or if Young was ever placed in the Boy Scouts’ internal probation program.
“To this day, the Boy Scouts do not inform the public when a Scout Leader is reported to have committed child abuse. Parents who enroll their children into a Scouting program may be putting their children in a dangerous situation without realizing it. This is information that should be out in the open, but the Boy Scouts refuse to be transparent and help parents protect their children,” said Crew.
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.
“We already know that 10 minors were victimized by Young, and sadly there are likely to be many more. The Boy Scouts would have us believe that preventing abuse is a top priority, but our clients’ experiences suggest otherwise. The fact that Young was allowed to work with so many kids for so long, even after so many warning signs, indicates that the Boy Scouts are simply not doing enough. And it’s left to these young victims to try to effect change through the courts,” said Janci.
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: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Washington. In Oregon, the Crew Janci firm has represented dozens of victims of sexual abuse in Scouting. Attorneys from Crew Janci were also 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.