August 23, 2012 in Region

Boys & Girls was negligent, lawsuit says

Associated Press
 

PORTLAND – Two Portland-area girls allege in civil lawsuits filed Wednesday that the Boys & Girls Club of Portland Metropolitan Area failed to protect them from a volunteer who the girls say sexually abused one of them in 2010 and the other in 2011.

The suits allege the club didn’t report the volunteer to police after they learned he had abused one of the girls and failed to conduct background checks or otherwise screen volunteers.

The volunteer is not named in the suit because he was a minor at the time of the alleged assaults. The girls’ attorney, Hollis McMilan, said in a news release that the volunteer pleaded guilty to sex abuse charges. He was not incarcerated, said Steve Crew, another attorney in the suit, but he did undergo rehabilitation.

The volunteer was 15 in 2010.

The lawsuit alleges that the club knew the volunteer was a threat after a 2010 assault in Forest Grove and claimed to ban him, but still allowed him to re-register with a Hillsboro club in 2011, where they allege he abused two more girls, only one of whom sued.

The girls are now 7 and 11. The lawsuits seek $2.5 million for each girl. The third victim could not be located and did not sue.

The Associated Press does not usually identify victims of sexual assault.

The Boys & Girls Club of Portland Metropolitan Area said it would not comment until it learns more about the allegations.

“We will cooperate fully with the judicial process,” said Melissa Froman, Director of Resource Development, in a statement on Wednesday afternoon. “We want to assure parents of our ongoing commitment to the safety of their children and invite them to visit our operations at any time.”

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