Eye On Boise

Lawsuit charges Idaho scouts were abused in '70s, '80s, says BSA and LDS Church covered up

Four former Idaho Boy Scouts, including a Spokane man, filed a federal lawsuit in Boise today charging that they were sexually abused by scout leaders during camping trips and other scouting events in the 1970s and 1980s. The lawsuit, which asks for at least $75,000 in damages for each of the four men, charges that the Boy Scouts of America and the LDS Church, which sponsored three of the four scouts’ troops, failed to prevent the abuse and allowed pedophiles to continue in scouting roles.

Secret files kept by the Boy Scouts, but made public as part of an earlier lawsuit in Oregon, documented cases of abuse, and directed, in some cases, that the offenders be excluded from scouting. “It is difficult to comprehend why the defendants did not warn the boys and their parents of this danger,” said Boise attorney Andrew Chasan, one of the three attorneys from two law firms who filed the lawsuit.

A similar lawsuit in Idaho was settled last November for an undisclosed sum; it also involved a former Idaho scout and targeted both the BSA and the LDS church. The abuse described in the new lawsuit took place in Boise, Lewiston and McCall, Idaho, and involved three former scout leaders, James Schmidt, Dennis Empey and Lawrence Libey, all of whom later were arrested and convicted of similar offenses. The victims were all 12 to 14 years old when the abuse began; you can read my full story here at spokesman.com.




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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