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Abuse suit names Boy Scouts, Mormon church

Oct. 4, 2007 at 9:50 PM

PORTLAND, Ore., Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Six former Boy Scouts have sued the Mormon church, seeking damages for molestation by an Oregon troop leader more than 20 years ago.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday seeks $25 million in damages from the Boy Scouts of America and the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints, The Portland Oregonian reported. The men were members of Troop 719 in Portland, which was run by the church and its troop leader, Timur Van Dykes, was a church teacher.

Dykes, who served a long prison term for sex crimes, was not named as a defendant.

Oregon has an elastic statute of limitations for sexual molestation, allowing victims to sue when they realize that they have been damaged.

Kelly Clark, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, said he will show that the church and Scouts tried to cover up molestation.

"We also intend to prove that both the Mormon Church and Boy Scouts were well aware, by at least the 1960s, that they had a serious institution-wide infestation of child abuse, stretching across the country, involving hundreds of predators and thousands of children, and that they failed miserably to take responsible steps to clean up their organizations," he said.

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