A 39-year-old US Army doctor has stepped forward and acknowledged that when he was 17 years old he was molested by a Boy Scout leader in California. Dr. Drew Belnap has filed a sexual abuse lawsuit against the Boy Scouts alleging the Boy Scouts failed to protect him from Scoutmaster John Atwood who is now a registered sex offender. The lawsuit was filed in Vista Superior Court.
Even though the sexual abuse happened 22 years ago, the Boy Scouts may not be able to argue that the filing is too late since Dr. Belnap has served in the military. The Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act provides a tolling (stoppage) of a statute of limitations for those serving in the military.
According to media reports, the molestation occurred near Schoepe Scout Reservation at Lost Valley in Warner Springs. At a press conference, Belnap explained why he decided to filed the abuse lawsuit, “”Throughout my life, I have had to endure the consequences from what happened to me when I was 17,” he said. “My primary purpose in filing this civil action against the Boy Scouts is to ensure that what happened to me can never happen to another Boy Scout. … It is essential that the Boy Scouts do more than what they’ve already done to establish more policies to further protect our youth.”