Portland suit filed against LDS Church & Boy Scouts for abuse

Below is a press release, 1-23-07, from O’Donnell & Clark Law Firm:

PORTLAND, OREGON – Two adult men today filed suit in Multnomah County Circuit Court against the Mormon Church and The Boy Scouts of America for sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of a LDS “Home Teacher,” who was also a Boy Scout Leader, in the mid-1980’s. The case alleges that both boys were seriously sexually abused by the leader. The suit claims that The Boy Scouts and the Mormon Church are responsible because the individual was their authorized representative in the Home Teaching role. The suit also claims negligence on behalf of the Mormon Church in failing to report allegations of child abuse to law enforcement authorities in the mid-1980’s.

Kelly Clark, attorney for the plaintiffs, commented, “What we see here is a classic pattern for pedophiles: getting to know a family with several boys, using the authority and respect given by the parents to institutions such as the Mormon Church and the Boy Scouts, and then preying on young boys.” Clark, who has handled over 100 claims involving child sexual abuse against the Catholic Church, as well as previous child abuse claims against The Boy Scouts, the LDS Church, schools, athletic leagues, and other “Institutions of Trust”, went on to say, however: “What makes this case somewhat unusual is that the last 20 years of these men’s psychological suffering did not have to happen. Had the Church but followed the law — reported allegations of child abuse involving this very same individual to law enforcement in the 1980’s, as they were required to do — we believe these men could have begun the healing process 20 years ago.” The suit contends that, although the LDS Church learned in 1985 or 1986 that the child abuser, one Timur Dykes, sometimes know as Timur Van Dykes, had abused the plaintiffs’ older brother P.L. in 1985 or 1986, the Mormon officials never reported the allegations to law enforcement, as they were required to do. The lawsuit claims that this was a separate act of negligence, and that if they had reported the abuse, law enforcement would have discovered that there were other victims, including plaintiffs. Dykes was later convicted of child sexual abuse on several different occasions, and is now deemed a “predatory child molester” by authorities.

Each man claims that he was abused by Dykes, although one of the brothers was abused on numerous occasions and the other brother was abused on one occasion. Each of the plaintiffs seeks $3 million in general damages and $250,000 in economic damages, including lost wages and earning potential, and future counseling costs.

O’Donnell & Clark LLP
Attorneys at Law
Fremont Place II, Suite 302
1650 NW Naito Parkway
Portland, Oregon 97209-2534

Phone | 503.306.0224

  • DeVietro

    I think that this case will almost half to be split into two seperate legal actions. As a BSA leader and eagle scout I know the imense level of protections in the bylaws and policies that should have stopped this if followed. I also know that LDS troops have always been an interesting section of BSA because their leadership is assigned rather than volenteer based and the leadership turn-over is very high. I would not be suprised if at some later time we see more firm seperation but in between BSA and the LDS church.

    • DeVietro

      Oops posted the unchecked version, excuse the typos especially the HALF vs HAVE typo I dont want to take up more space by reposting.

  • nme

    There is simply no excuse for knowingly concela abuse. Must we keep suing these groups one-by-one until they do the right thing?

  • Captain_Anon

    this spells big trouble for LDS. and could bring on similar lawsuits as more come out about it. however, i’m not sure how this has to do with the boy scouts. on the news last night, they said that the LDS folks, who knew of the abuse, never told the boy scouts. and the boy scouts never received a complaint. not only that, but this press release by the lawyers doesn’t ever implicate the boy scouts other than the guy was a troop leader. so it seems to me the boy scouts should be dropped from the suit, unless the lawyers are just reaching out for as many sources to get cash.