Former Boy Scout Seeks Punitive Damages Against Boy Scouts

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Today, former Boy Scout, Steven Parker, filed a request with the Ramsey County District Court, asking the Court to allow him to seek punitive damages against both the Boy Scouts of America and the Northern Star Council because they concealed information involving thousands of sexually abusive Boy Scout Leaders.

[Click Here for Memorandum in Support of Motion to Amend to Include Punitive Damages]

“It seems that the Boy Scouts cared more about registration fees and uniforms sales than the safety of the Scouts themselves,” stated the Plaintiff Steven Parker. “I was especially vulnerable because I came from a single-parent home with no father to protect me.  I sure do wish that the Boy Scouts would have chosen to protect me instead of protecting their reputation and money.  My life would be very different today if the BSA had done the right thing back in 1967” claims Parker.

According to Court documents, the Boy Scouts had thousands of perversion files that contained robust information about thousands of sexually abusive Boy Scout Leaders.  There were numerous files that showed the Boy Scouts knew pedophile Scout Leaders used camping trips to isolate Scouts and then sexually abuse them.  These documents also reveal that sexually abusive Boy Scout Leaders used alcohol, marijuana and pornography to groom, manipulate and ultimately sexually abuse Boy Scouts.

One of Steven Parker’s attorneys, Minneapolis attorney Patrick Noaker, argues in Court documents that punitive damages are warranted in this case because “the BSA acted with deliberate disregard for the safety of others, including Plaintiff, when BSA intentionally disregarded the information contained in its centralized IV Files showing that pedophiles had infiltrated BSA’s troop leadership positions and that those pedophiles often isolated their victims on camping trips and used alcohol, drugs and pornography to groom and ultimately sexually abuse.”  In fact, Noaker argued that the Viking Council (merged to form Northern Star Council in 2005), was actually run by a pedophile prior to 1961. In 1961, it was discovered that James W. Bartlett, the Scout Executive for the Viking Council, which is the chief executive for the Council, resigned after reports that he sexually abused Scouts while at a camp.

[Click Here for the IV Perversion File of James W. Bartlett]

Noaker also points to numerous examples of Scout Leaders, within and outside of the Viking Council, who, prior to 1967, had sexually abused Boy Scouts on camping trips and who had used alcohol, marijuana and pornography to groom and abuse – operating just like Steven Parker’s abuser, Momont. “The Boy Scouts knew that young Scouts were especially vulnerable when they were isolated on camping trips, and the Boy Scouts concealed that information, instead of acting on it. That is a deliberate disregard for the safety of young Scouts and punitive damages are appropriate,” argues Noaker. (See below for specific IV Perversion Files)

Boy Scout expert Gary Schoener testifies that the perversion files contained considerable special knowledge concerning the potential for sexual abuse of Scouts. According to Schoener,

“No other entity is known to have had this amount of case material concerning sexual abuse of young people in the United States. At present there has been no presentation in professional or lay literature of any body of knowledge about this topic that came close to rivaling the knowledge base provided to BSA by the IV files.”  Schoener concluded that based upon the information available to the Boy Scouts in the IV Files, prior to 1967, the BSA could have and should have implemented child abuse prevention policies that required two adults to be present for all activities, forbidding one-on-one activities between Scout Leaders and Scouts as well as a number of other standards and protocols to protect Scouts, and had BSA implemented these reforms, it is unlikely that Steven Parker and many other Scouts would have ever been sexually abused.

[Click Here for Preliminary Expert Report of Gary Schoener]

“Punitive damages are especially applicable in cases like this to deter an organization from exposing children to the risk of child sexual abuse,” explained Leander “Lee” James, one of Parker’s attorneys.  “Unfortunately it sometimes takes the threat of paying a large judgment to change bad institutional behavior.”

In a Court deposition, when asked about whether he had provided alcohol, marijuana and pornography to Boy Scouts, including Steven Parker, in order to groom and sexually abuse, former Troop 12 Assistant Scout Leader Andrew Momont asserted his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination.  Similarly, Andrew Momont also pled the 5th when asked about whether the Boy Scouts had an IV Perversion File on him and whether there had been prior reports of his sexually abusive conduct to the Northern Star Council or the Boy Scouts.

Click on the names below to view the corresponding IV Perversion File referred to in the Court Documents:

  • Irving W. Beck (Minneapolis, Minnesota – 1966) Sexually abused Scouts on campout.
  • Robert James Sykes (Marquette, Michigan – 1966) Admitted to sexually abusing Scouts on camping trip.
  • James Lee Shadle (Iowa City, Iowa 1963) “we had several boys approach our Camp Director that Mr. Shadle was making approaches to them.”
  • Robert L. Hillard (Newton, Kansas 1961) “The complaint indicated that Mr. Hillard and Mr. Welsh were engaging in acts of perversion with several of the boys in the Troop and that these acts were taking place regularly and during outings, camps, trips, and parties, all within the scouting program of this particular troop. . . Our investigation further indicated that some ten boys were involved with Mr. Hillard . . . “
  • Alonzo E. Estes (Evansville, Indiana – 1961) “. . . five statements were taken from members of one of the troops. In the statements, the boys said they had engaged in unnatural sexual activity with Estes on numerous occasions – in the basement of the church where the troop held its meetings, on camping and boating trips and in Estes’ home.  The statements included names of 10 other boys allegedly involved in the incidents, police said.”
  • Freddy Burger Jr. (Houston, Texas – 1961) “Recommended for Confidential File for the following reasons: For unnatural sex-acts with young boys. Subject has admitted that such acts took place on several occasions with different boys while on overnight hikes and other occasions.”
  • Charles J. Grover (Trenton, New Jersey – 1961) “In a meeting of the full Troop Committee held last Friday night, July 7, the father of one of the Scouts described how his son was molested by Mr. Grover, and how several other Scouts had confirmed that Grover took this boy into bed with him at a camporee, and molested him”
  • Neil E. Lawrence (Janesville, Wisconsin – 1961) “Activity of one Neil Lawrence, 22 years of age, was revealed by a 14-year-old boy charged with indecent exposure. He implicated several other boys and Mr. Lawrence.  Much of the activity in question had taken place at the council camp during fall and winter months.
  • Michael Kendrick Boggess (Batlimore, Maryland – 1961)  Convicted sexual offender sought out Boy Scout Troop so he could get access to Scouts on camping trips.
  • Samuel Barry Halpern (New York, New York – 1961) District Executive of the Manhattan Council was terminated after sexually abusing a number of Scouts on a Scout camping trip.
  • William K. Steuart (Cleveland, Ohio – 1961) Scout Leader sexually abused Scout while in cabin on Scout camping trip.
  • Neil Francis Stensland (Seattle, Washington 1961) Scout Leader arrested after five Boy Scouts walked away from a Scout Camp and gave statements to the police.
  • Charles Philip Thompson (Silver Spring, Maryland – 1962) Arrested by FBI on charges of sodomy and committing perverted sex acts with young boys at a summer camp.
  • Paul Marshall Nathan (Framingham, Massachusetts – 1962) Convicted of seven counts of improper sexual contact with Scouts on a camping trip.
  • Kenneth Leon Clark (Frankfort, Germany 1962) “Mr. Clark did while Scoutmaster of Troop 95, Transatlantic Council, on camping trips, take certain immoral, improper and indecent liberties with certain members of the unit and performed certain lewd and lascivicus [sic] acts upon and with the bodies of certain children.”
  • Richard Arlie Hurt (Santa Ana, California – 1962) “At least seven of the boys in Troop 157 were victims of Mr. Hurt’s immoral conduct and part of the offenses occurred at Camp Myford.”
  • Robert Elmer Huelsman (Cincinnati, Ohio – 1962) Sexually abused a 15-year-old on a weekend Scouting trip.
  • Jack J. Talamo (New Brunswick, New Jersey – 1962) On camp staff at Camp 12 Pines when he sexually abused a Scout who was camping there.
  • Charles S. McCalment (Washington, D.C. – 1964) Terminated from Boy Scouts for sexually abusing a Scout in his Troop on a camping trip.
  • Franklin Lawrence (Baltimore, Maryland – 1965) Sexually abused Scouts while on camping trip.
  • Lawrence Arthur Knippel (Wausau, Wisconsin – 1961) “His method of operation is to pick up young boys and show them obscene literature in an effort to arouse them sexually and he then attempts to masturbate them.”
  • Richard D. Gates (Worchester, Massachusetts – 1961) “He has been confronted with charges of homosexual activity with older boys in the Lodge, the serving of alcoholic beverages to certain of them in conjunction with the above, and showing of pornographic visual aids (movies) to minors.”
  • William R. Pratt (Toms River, New Jersey – 1961) Pratt was Troop Leader who grabbed privates of several Scouts who used purchased beer and pornography on the way to Troop camping trips.
  • Alva D. Linder (Plattsmouth, Nebraska – 1962) Provided alcohol to minor and sexually abused him.
  • Robert L. Wantuck (St. Louis, Missouri – 1963) Terminated from Scouting for providing liquor and sexually abusing members of his Troop.
  • Chalma Lee Walker (Littlefield, Texas 1965) “This man has confessed to all charges which include, sodomy, distribution of pornographic literature and other acts of perversion.”
  • Tommy Fletcher Young, Jr. (West Monroe, Louisiana 1965) Young provided beer, vodka and gin to Scouts on Scout outings and showed pornography to “arouse his passion and sex drives.”
  • Malcolm Willis McConahy (Minneapolis, Minnesota 1965) Suspended as the Assistant Scoutmaster due to “evidence obtained and an admission by Mr. McConahy of homosexual interests and activities involving certain boys within Troop 27 and himself.” Also arrested in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin on misdemeanor charge of circulation of pornographic material in the company of four boys whom he had given money.

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