As state legislators continue to make strides in expanding the statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse claims in the California, attorneys at Panish Shea & Boyle LLP and Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala PLLC are preparing individual claims against Boy Scouts of America (BSA) on behalf of individuals who have suffered sexual abuse by BSA leaders and volunteers. Dr. Janet Warren, a researcher hired by BSA to analyze the organization’s administrative files from 1944 to 2016, testified in court earlier this year that she had identified 12,254 victims and 7,819 suspected abusers — many of those victims are working with firm attorneys to evaluate their potential claims against the youth-serving organization that allowed or enabled their abuse to happen.
For more than 30 years, Richard Clayton has struggled with various demons as a result of the abuse he suffered as a scout at the hands BSA volunteer Curtis Knarich who molested thirteen (13) different boys in 1983-84 while in his role as Assistant Scoutmaster at Travis Air Force Base near San Francisco. In working through the shame and embarrassment he’s felt for decades, Mr. Clayton has found support and encouragement in speaking with survivors of Boy Scout sexual abuse and hopes that by sharing his story, others will feel empowered to come forward and seek justice against the organization that failed to keep them safe.
”I was barely in the door at Travis AFB from my previous troop and was immediately victimized by his man who raped me, fondled me, restrained me and took lewd photos of me — threatening my life on a daily basis if I ever mentioned a word of his abuse to anyone,” said Mr. Clayton, speaking of the abuse he suffered from Curtis Knarich. “After all of this, the Boy Scouts of America didn’t even issue an apology or offer counseling to any of us. There are many of us that were victimized and traumatized as a result of the Boy Scouts of America inaction, but we don’t have to remain silent anymore. Alone we may not survive the emotional price tag, but banding together we can, and will, live free of that bondage.”
For nearly 100 years the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has been keeping detailed, confidential files documenting adult leaders and volunteers who were alleged to have committed various crimes and offenses and deeming them “ineligible” to serve as volunteers within the organization. The “Ineligible Volunteer” or “I.V. Files” reportedly hold the identities of thousands of perpetrators believed to have been involved in the sexual abuse of a child, including hundreds of Boy Scout leaders and volunteers throughout California — at least 47 individuals in the Los Angeles area, 19 individuals in the San Diego area, and 18 individuals in the San Francisco Bay area have been identified between 1960 and 1992.
According to information contained within the “I.V.” files, a number of child predators were often able to gain access to the Scouting program after being reported for abuse of children. For instance, in the case of John Roberts, in 1988, Roberts was allowed to serve in the position as Den Leader of Pack 3077 in Marysville, California, despite being a registered sex offender who spent time in prison for child molestation charges in the early 1980s. According to Roberts, he disclosed the past offenses when he applied for the Den Leader position and was permitted to take on the role nonetheless. Similarly, in the case of Robert “Skip” Auleb, in 1983, he reportedly molested a Scout at the Wente Scout Reservation after getting him intoxicated and offering him marijuana. The abuse was reported to BSA shortly thereafter, but Auleb was allowed to remain in Scouting. Auleb later became the Scoutmaster of Troop 264 in Pacifica, California, until 1987 when the past abuse allegations were, again, reported to BSA.
For many survivors of childhood sexual abuse, the realization of how the abuse has affected them doesn’t come until much later in life. The attorneys at Panish Shea & Boyle LLP and Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala PLLC have a wide-range of experience helping survivors of abuse, including adults who were sexually abused as children. Members of the legal team have represented hundreds of abuse survivors with claims against the Boy Scouts of America, the Catholic Church, the Mormon Church, schools and other youth-serving organizations that failed to protect their members from sexual predators.
To learn more about our team and your legal options to pursue a childhood sexual abuse claim in California, visit californiasexabuselawyers.com.