Los Angeles, CA, March 18, 2019 --(PR.com
)-- Los Angeles Attorney Paul Mones
has filed a five-count civil lawsuit in California Superior Court of Los Angeles Central District on March 13, on behalf of an alleged former Boy Scout who was a minor while working at Forest Lawn Scout Reservation in the summer of 2015. The Plaintiff, designated as John Doe, allegedly suffered multiple acts of sexual assault by an adult Boy Scout leader named Sean Justin Lee, who worked at the camp as an employee of the Los Angeles Area Boy Scout Council.
The lawsuit alleges: the Plaintiff was a minor - at the time of the sexual abuse and had been involved in Scouting since he was 8 years old; in the summer of 2014 and 15, the Plaintiff worked at the Forest Lawn Camp, located east of Lake Arrowhead, CA, as a Lifeguard and group leader; during the summer of 2015, the Plaintiff was sexually assaulted by Defendant Lee on an overnight outing; and, within a week of the first sexual assault, Defendant Lee sexually assaulted him again.
The lawsuit further alleges that the camp administration, including the director and assistant director, knew that Sean Lee was acting sexually inappropriately and violating BSA youth protection guidelines with other minor Scouts prior to Lee’s sexual abuse of Plaintiff. The lawsuit alleges that prior to the abuse of Plaintiff by Lee, a minor Scout reported to the camp director and another supervising camp employee that he was a victim of inappropriate sexual behavior by Lee.
"Child serving institutions like the Boy Scouts of America, the largest youth organization in the nation, must have as their number one priority the safety of the children placed in their care. This is not a case from 30 or 40 years ago as the public so often reads about, but rather the alleged sexual abuse here occurred less than 5 years ago,” Mones said. “The problem of sexual abuse by trusted adult leaders is unfortunately a pervasive one," Mones said. “I am proud that my client had the courage to come forward. Victims of sexual abuse in institutions must know that they have the right to seek justice in our court system for the wrings done to them.”
The lawsuit also details the historical failure of the Boy Scouts of America to protect its members from sexual abuse by its adult leaders. The lawsuit alleges that the BSA started documenting the problem of the sexual abuse of scouts by their adult leaders in 1920's, and these files were known as the Perversion Files. In a 2010 sexual abuse case in Portland, Oregon, Paul Mones and his legal team obtained a court order that forced the BSA, for the first time in its history, to release about 1200 files containing over 20,000 pages and covering the period 1965 through 1985. That case ultimately resulted in an $19.9 million jury verdict against the Boy Scouts of America – the largest verdict ever rendered against the Boy Scouts of America.
The lawsuit alleges that since the Perversion Files were created prior to Plaintiff’s participation in Scouting, the BSA had ample evidence that scouting was continuously attracting child molesters and that scouting remained attractive to child molesters by providing the sexual abuser access to scouts who were alone and away from their parents in secluded settings like overnight hikes and summer camps.
The lawsuit alleges that the Defendants breached their duty of care to the minor Plaintiff by allowing Lee to come into contact with Plaintiff without supervision and that they not only failed to protect Plaintiff from Lee who had acted sexually inappropriately with other scouts at the camp but as well failed to adequately warn Plaintiff and his parents of the dangers posed by adult leaders who sexually abuse scouts. As a direct result of the Defendants’ alleged negligence and failure to warn the Plaintiff or his parents, the lawsuit claims that Plaintiff has suffered, and continues to suffer pain, shock, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life and that the impact of the sexual assault has prevented and will continue to prevent him from performing daily activities and obtaining full enjoyment of life.
The lawsuit asks for unspecified damages and a jury trial.