A 24-year-old Arizona man filed a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America in Warren County Tuesday morning, alleging his Scout leader sexually abused him on multiple occasions at Kings Island and elsewhere in 1999.
Thomas Abner claims Scout leader Steven Woodard, who is now deceased, befriended him and his family and abused him on multiple occasions when Abner was 11 years old. Abner was living in Muncie, Ind., at the time of the abuse and was on a field trip to Kings Island. Abner has sued the scouting organization because he says the Boy Scouts should have known Woodard was a problem.
“BSA knew of or should have known of Woodard violating its child protection rules by spending time alone with plaintiff outside of scouting, but negligently failed to discipline Woodard or warn plaintiff or his mother of the risk of molestation in such cases,” the lawsuit reads. “The risk of molestation in scouting was not open and obvious because BSA had taken numerous steps to conceal the magnitude of the problem and at all times relevant to this complaint , denied that there was a child sexual abuse problem in scouting.”
Abner’s attorney Konrad Kircher said a relatively new law gives sex abuse victims a longer period of time in which to file their actions.
“He falls under the new statute of limitations enacted in 2006, giving him until age 30 to bring the claim,” Kircher said. “He has just recently been able to confront his demons.”
Kircher is teaming up with attorney Kelly Clark of O’Donnell Clark & Crew LLP and attorney Paul Mones of Portland, Oregon. Clark and Mones were the lead trial attorneys in the 2010 trial in Kerry Lewis v. Boy Scouts – which resulted in a $19.5 million verdict against the Boy Scouts and forced the first public release of the Boy Scout’s secret internal “Perversion” files on known pedophiles.
A response to the complaint from the Boy Scouts of America website was not immediately forthcoming.