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Four men join Scouts lawsuit

BOISE – Four more men who say they were sexually abused by Scout leaders in Idaho have joined a federal lawsuit accusing the Boy Scouts of America and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of covering up sexual abuse, bringing the total number of plaintiffs in the case to eight.

The lawsuit originally was filed in June with four plaintiffs, all identified as John Does, alleging they were sexually abused while attending Scouting functions during the 1970s and 1980s.

At a news conference Tuesday in Boise, the plaintiffs’ attorneys announced three more unidentified plaintiffs and a fourth man, John Elliot, who agreed to go public in hopes that other victims would emerge.

The case is still in the early stages, but attorneys for the Boy Scouts and LDS church filed responses in court denying any wrongdoing or any responsibility for the alleged abuse.

Elliott and four of the other plaintiffs say they were abused by former Boy Scout leader Jim Schmidt while members of a troop sponsored by the LDS church. Convicted of sex crimes against children in Idaho in 1983 and in Maryland in 1996, Schmidt is now a registered sex offender living in Maryland. He is not a defendant in the lawsuit.