Boy Scouts sued over sexual abuse at area camps

EVERETT — A lawsuit filed in King County on Thursday alleges that the Boy Scouts of America failed for decades to prevent the sexual abuse of children at its camps, including three locations in Snohomish County.

Child molesters infiltrated the organization, and the Boy Scouts purposely kept the problem a secret to protect their “image and economic well-being,” said Seattle-based attorney Tim Kosnoff, who filed the suit.

The 124-page lawsuit involves Camp Brinkley and Camp Omache near Lake Roesiger, and Camp Sevenich near Lake Stevens. The latter two camps since have closed, according to local scouting websites.

Officials at the Everett branch of the Mount Baker Council of the Boy Scouts of America on Thursday morning said they had not yet seen the lawsuit, and the national office was preparing a written response. It had not been provided as of 6 p.m.

The allegations involve 13 alleged abusers and 12 victims who were scouts. Most of the boys are now adults. Some of the accused abusers since have died.

The abuse reportedly took place at camps and during other scouting activities throughout Western Washington, dating back to the 1960s, the suit alleges.

The plantiffs’ lawyers describe their case:

One of the men named in the lawsuit, Price Nick Miller is a former Pierce County scout leader. He is now serving time in prison for child sex crimes. Richard Barton Trujillo, a man who once worked at Camp Brinkley, was convicted of child rape in King County in the 1990s. He now lives in Seattle.

Several of the accused held management positions at Camp Brinkley, according to the lawsuit.

The lawyers allege that Boy Scouts leaders knew about abuse and even had fired some of those responsible but did not report allegations to the police or take measures to prevent further crimes against children.

Some of the cases were prosecuted only after victims’ relatives learned about what happened and called police, according to the court papers.

The suit seeks damages regarding “physical, mental, and emotional injury and disturbance, and other disorders.” The amount of compensation sought is not detailed.

The suit also asks for a court order to address the Boy Scouts’ policies and practices regarding reporting alleged abuse.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449, rking@heraldnet.com.

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