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Eye On Boise

Tue., July 10, 2007, 1:29 p.m.

New law leads to first abuse lawsuit

It took years for Ron Morgan to muster the strength to go public with the story of how a volunteer scout leader sexually abused him as a young teen. But this morning, standing on the courthouse steps in Boise, Morgan spoke out - and filed a lawsuit, the first of its kind under a new state law extending the statute of limitations in such cases.

The case, filed on behalf of both Morgan and another, unnamed younster who allegedly was repeatedly abused at the age of 9, charges that the Boy Scouts knew for more than four years that an assistant scoutmaster in the Boise area was a pedophile, but did nothing to stop the man before he was arrested in 1983. "I'm hoping that this lawsuit will make a difference in how these organizations handle their youth programs so that there are protections in place so that people like Jim Schmidt never come in contact with kids," Morgan said. He noted that his own 10-year-old son is now in scouting. "Since Zachary has been in scouting, it's become more of a concern to me. I don't want him or anyone else to have to go through this."

The new Idaho law facilitating today's suit went into effect on July 1. It extends the statute of limitations on child abuse cases to five years from the time of the abuse or the discovery that the abuse caused the victim injury or trauma. "It expands the time for the victim to realize their harm," said Boise attorney Andrew Chasan. "It's a recognition of the psychological science that victims tend to suppress the memory." Read the full story here at spokesmanreview.com.




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Eye On Boise

Short takes and breaking news from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.