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PhilpottTwo Men File New Sex Abuse Lawsuit Against Boy Scouts; Suit Names New Oregon Predator

March 22, 2016

Portland, OR — Two men filed a child sexual abuse lawsuit today against the Boy Scouts in Oregon.  Filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, the lawsuit names as Defendants the national Boy Scouts of America (headquartered in Texas) and its local branch, the Cascade Pacific Council of the Boy Scouts of America.  The plaintiffs are each seeking $7 million in damages.

The victims in today’s suit are referred to only as “K.G.” and “H.C.”  The suit alleges that the two were boy scouts in a troop based in Milwaukie, Oregon during the early 1970s.  At that time, the troop met at Riverside Elementary School on River Road in Milwaukie.  The victims say they were sexually abused by their Scoutmaster, Robert Charles Philpott.  The suit alleges that the abuse involved fondling and attempted anal penetration by the Scout Leader.

The victims are represented by Portland-area law firm Crew Janci LLP, which is known for representing victims of sexual abuse against large institutions in cases around the country, including the Catholic Church, the Mormon Church, and elite private schools.

The lawsuit alleges claims of negligence and fraud against the Boy Scouts, based on the allegation that “from at least the 1930s, if not earlier, Defendants knew that the position of Scout Leader and other positions of leadership and authority in Scouting were being used by predatory child molesters to victimize children, and that Boy Scout Defendants had an institution-wide or systemic child abuse problem.”  According to lawyers for the victims, those allegations are based largely upon the cache of secret “Ineligible volunteer” files which were disclosed in the 2010 Portland trial in the case of Kerry Lewis v. Boy Scouts.  Crew and Janci were part of the Plaintiff’s trial team in the Lewis case, which resulted in a $19.9 million plaintiff’s verdict and spurred the public release of more than 1,200 of the Scouts’ secret files on scout leaders accused of child sexual abuse.

The Boy Scouts have not publicly released a file on the abuser in today’s case, but the victims’ attorneys say that the Scouts may still have a secret file on Philpott at their headquarters:

“The fact that the Boy Scouts have not publicly released a secret file on Robert Charles Philpott does not tell us much about what the Scouts know about him.  There are thousands of secret files that the Boy Scouts have still never publicly released.  Especially files where the Scouts learned about allegations of sexual abuse in the 1990s and 2000s.  We know the Boy Scouts created least 2,000 perversion files between 1992 and 2004 – each one representing a Scout Leader reported for child sexual abuse.  The Boy Scouts continue to keep those files secret to this day, behind lock and key at the Boy Scouts’ headquarters, even though many of these predators may still be out in the community”,” said one of the victims’ attorneys Stephen Crew of Crew Janci LLP in Portland.

Other documents show that Philpott was eventually convicted as a sexual offender.  According to Court documents, Philpott was convicted on three criminal counts in Clackamas County in 1996 for his sexual abuse of a boy under 14 years old.  Philpott was 66 years old at the time of that conviction, per court records.

“Given that Philpott was convicted in 1996, he might be included in the 2,000 files that Scouts have acknowledged keeping secret to this day,” said victim’s attorney Peter Janci.  “The Plaintiffs in today’s lawsuit are the first two boy scout victims to step forward and speak up about the abuse by Scoutmaster Robert Charles Philpott.  Sadly, we believe there are other victims out there.  We would ask anyone with information will come forward and know that they will be believed.   It’s time for the truth to come out,” said the victims’ attorney Peter Janci.  Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the victims’ attorneys at: 1-888-407-0224 or through the Firm’s confidential online contact form.

Unlike some states, Oregon law provides for an extended statute of limitations on civil cases for child sexual abuse.  Oregon’s statute of limitations (ORS 12.117) allows victims to come forward until they are at least 40 years old, and in many instances, later — depending upon when the victim comes to understand the impact the abuse has had on his or her adult life.  Many states around the country are currently considering amendments to allow for an extension of the civil statute of limitations time period.  Some states have eliminated the statute of limitations all together.

Read today’s lawsuit here: Complaint

Read more about the Robert Charles Philpott case here:

If you or someone you care about was sexually abused and you would like advice from an attorney about the rights and options for victims of child sexual abuse, please contact Crew Janci LLP today for a free, confidential consultation at 1-888-407-0224 or by using our private online form.  We will treat you with discretion and respect.

You are not alone.  We are here to help.

Andria Seo

Andria Seo is an Associate Attorney at Crew Janci LLP. Andria is a graduate of the New York University School of Law. During law school, she worked with the National Center for Youth Law, the Legal Aid Society, and the NYCLU. Prior to joining the team at Crew Janci LLP, Andria advocated for vulnerable children and their families as a staff attorney at Partnership for Children’s Rights, a nonprofit based in New York City. Andria also previously worked assisting in the representation of victims of a terrorist attack in civil suits. Andria moved to Portland in 2016 and joined Crew Janci LLP in 2017. She is admitted to practice in Oregon and New York