Victim Told the Boy Scouts About Abusive Leader – But Where’s the Secret File?
(St. Paul, Minnesota—November 05, 2015)—Yet another Minneapolis-area man filed a civil lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America and the St. Paul-based Northern Star Council for alleged sexual abuse committed by his Scout leader.
Steven Parker was only eleven years old when he says he was first sexually abused by his Scout leader, Andrew Momont. According to court documents, the boy met Momont when he joined Troop 17, which was based out of the Olivet Baptist Church in Robbinsdale. Andrew Momont was the troop’s Assistant Scoutmaster. Andrew Momont’s father, Phillip Momont, was the Troop 17 Scoutmaster.
According to court documents, Parker, now age 59, was sexually abused by Scout Leader Andrew Momont on numerous occasions spanning from approximately 1967-1974.
The abuse took place at “Scouting-related meeting, events, and outings in and around St. Paul, Minnesota” as well as at the Many Point Scout Camp near Ponsford, Minnesota and Tomahawk Boy Scout Camp near Birchwood, Wisconsin.
“The abuse in this case was severe and went on for many years. Our client has suffered quietly and painfully for decades. Mr. Parker is a very brave man who has fought depression and chemical dependency, common with survivors of sexual abuse, to step forward and hold the Boy Scouts accountable. He is thankful that Minnesota law now allows him to seek justice. And our team is proud to represent him,” said Minneapolis Attorney Patrick Noaker. Noaker is a key member of an attorney team representing sexual abuse survivors throughout the State.
Minnesota’s recently-enacted Child Victims Act allows many victims of child abuse a window to bring claims without restriction from a statute of limitations, even if the abuse occurred decades ago. The Minnesota Child Victim Act passed into law with unanimous support in the Senate and only seven detractors in the House, based largely on evidence that victims often keep child abuse a secret long into adulthood and often have difficulty recognizing that mental health, addiction, or relationship problems experienced as an adult stem from childhood sexual abuse. The window established by the Minnesota Child Victim Act is set to close in 2016.
“Based on our initial investigation, we believe that Scout Leader Andrew Momont had a number of victims. Many of these men have suffered in silence for decades, each believing he was the only one. Now, with the recent changes in the law, Minnesota is allowing these men to come out of the shadows and get some justice for what they suffered as children,” said Steve Crew of Crew Janci LLP, one of John Doe 157’s attorneys.
Today’s lawsuit alleges that the national Boy Scouts organization knew for decades prior to Steven Parker’s abuse that scout leaders were sexually abusing boys: “Between 1935 and 1971, Defendant BSA identified thousands of additional Scout Leaders who were believed to have sexually abused boys in Defendant BSA’s scouting program. Not all of these men were removed from their positions as a Scout Leader. Rather, at some point prior to 1955, Defendant BSA implemented a secret, internal ‘probation program.’”
According to the Parker’s attorneys, Steven Parker came forward as a young adult and disclosed to the Boy Scouts that Momont was sexually dangerous. Parker reports that the Boy Scouts told him that Momont had been removed from scouting for sexual misconduct with boys. But, the victim’s attorneys say there is no known file on Momont in the publicly available archives and no known evidence that such a file was ever created.
“This boy trusted the Scouts, who in turn told him he could trust his Scout Leader. That trust was betrayed – not only by Momont, but also by the Boy Scouts of America. The Boy Scouts secretly collected detailed information on pedophiles in Scouting around the country. They tracked the problem, but did nothing meaningful to stop it — until it was too late,” said Attorney Peter Janci of Crew Janci LLP.
Attorney Craig Vernon added: “The Scouts knew well before this man was abused that if they did nothing to change how they operated, thousands of children would be victimized. They weighed the options and chose to do nothing. As a result, thousands of children were predictably assaulted, including the man coming forward today.”
In filing this lawsuit, John Doe 157 joins nearly a dozen similar victims who have recently filed lawsuits in Minnesota against the Boy Scouts of America and its local chapters. Many of these followed a public announcement in June by Ramsey County Commissioner Jim McDonough disclosing his own sexual abuse as a boy scout.
According to John Doe 157’s attorneys, the Boy Scouts of America have 47 Minnesota Perversion Files that were created after 2000 which the Boy Scouts refuse to make public. Approximately 1,200 Perversion files from the 1960s thru the 1980s can be found on the Crew Janci LLP website.