Boy Scouts of America to Pay $18.5 Million To Abused Scout

On Friday a Portland Oregon jury ordered the Boy Scouts of America to pay $18.5 million to former Boy Scout  Kerry Lewis, a man sexually abused by a former assistant Scoutmaster in what is believed to be the largest such award against the national organization..  The jury decided on April 13 that the Boy Scouts were negligent for allowing former assistant Scoutmaster Timur Dykes to associate with Scouts, including Lewis, after Dykes admitted to a Scouts official in 1983 that he had molested 17 boys.  The jury awarded Lewis $1.4 million in compensatory damages with that verdict and agreed the Boy Scouts were liable for punitive damages to be determined in the second phase of the trial that ended Thursday.

The case was the first of six filed against the Boy Scouts in the same court in Oregon, with at least one other separate case pending. If mediation fails to settle the next cases, they also could go to trial.

“They’ve always settled. And they’re silent. No one hears because it does not see the light of day,”  Kelly Clark and Paul Mones, the attorneys for Lewis said. “What we saw here in Portland really pulled back the covers on the Boy Scouts of America, and what it did to cover up.”

During the first phase of the trial, Clark and Mones introduced more than 1,000 files the Scouts kept on suspected child molesters from 1965-85 as evidence the organization should have put a sex abuse prevention program into place decades ago also Boyle said from 1984 through 1992, the Scouts were sued at least 60 times for alleged sex abuse with settlements and judgments totaling more than $16 million.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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