Kelly Clark, Attorney | Boy Scout Sex Abuse

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2 more ex-Scouts say leader molested them

Lawsuit – The men are seeking $8.5 million from the Boy Scouts and Mormon church

Thursday, June 26, 2008

PETER ZUCKERMAN
The Oregonian Staff

Two Portland-area men filed an $8.5 million lawsuit Wednesday against the Mormon church and the Boy Scouts, bringing to eight the number of former Scouts alleging sexual abuse by former troop and church leader Timur Van Dykes.

The eight men are seeking a total of more than $33 million in damages.

The lawsuits, filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, contend the abuse began in the early 1980s, ended in the early ’90s and involved Boy Scout Troops 478 and 719, both of which were sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Boy Scouts has been part of the Mormon church’s official men’s program since 1913.

Six of the alleged victims agreed earlier this month to enter talks to settle their lawsuits but failed to reach a resolution.

Dykes, a registered sex offender, lives in Southwest Portland. He has been convicted of at least 26 sex crimes since 1983.

The state sex offender registry lists him as a predator who targets infant males and boys ages 7 to 15, warning that he "has used intimidation and threats to maintain victim compliance."

He is one of about 50 Oregon leaders expelled by the Boy Scouts for sex abuse between 1970 and 1990 and more than 5,100 leaders expelled nationally since 1946, according to confidential Boy Scouts files and summaries obtained by The Oregonian.

Under Oregon’s flexible statute of limitations, victims of sexual abuse can bring cases once they’ve discovered how the abuse affected them, sometimes decades after the actual crimes.

In Oregon, the Boy Scouts faces at least four more pending civil cases involving allegations of child sex abuse.

The first criminal sex-abuse charges against Dykes came in 1983, when two boys told Portland police that the Scout leader molested them. Dykes pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree sexual abuse and was sentenced to probation.

The lawsuits contend that the Mormon church discovered in the early 1980s that Dykes had molested a Scout but failed to thoroughly investigate and question Dykes, failed to report abuse to law enforcement, failed to provide mental health services to victims and failed to remove Dykes from contact with children.

"We believe that the Mormon church and the Boy Scouts allowed Timur Dykes to stay in contact with children for years after his first arrest and conviction for child sex abuse," said plaintiff attorney Kelly Clark.

But Steve English, attorney for the Mormon church, said the two new alleged victims were never members of the church and that Dykes had been expelled from the church nearly a decade before the alleged abuse in the late 1980s.

The Boy Scouts Cascade Pacific Council declined to comment on the case.

Dykes has been a source of legal troubles for the Boy Scouts before. Three lawsuits alleging abuse filed in 1987 resulted in undisclosed settlements. The mother of one of Dykes’ earliest alleged victims told The Oregonian in 1995 that abuse of her son contributed to his suicide.

Peter Zuckerman: 503-294-5919; peterzuckerman@ news.oregonian.com

2 more ex-Scouts say leader molested them

Lawsuit – The men are seeking $8.5 million from the Boy Scouts and Mormon church

Thursday, June 26, 2008

PETER ZUCKERMAN
The Oregonian Staff

Two Portland-area men filed an $8.5 million lawsuit Wednesday against the Mormon church and the Boy Scouts, bringing to eight the number of former Scouts alleging sexual abuse by former troop and church leader Timur Van Dykes.

The eight men are seeking a total of more than $33 million in damages.

The lawsuits, filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, contend the abuse began in the early 1980s, ended in the early ’90s and involved Boy Scout Troops 478 and 719, both of which were sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Boy Scouts has been part of the Mormon church’s official men’s program since 1913.

Six of the alleged victims agreed earlier this month to enter talks to settle their lawsuits but failed to reach a resolution.

Dykes, a registered sex offender, lives in Southwest Portland. He has been convicted of at least 26 sex crimes since 1983.

The state sex offender registry lists him as a predator who targets infant males and boys ages 7 to 15, warning that he "has used intimidation and threats to maintain victim compliance."

He is one of about 50 Oregon leaders expelled by the Boy Scouts for sex abuse between 1970 and 1990 and more than 5,100 leaders expelled nationally since 1946, according to confidential Boy Scouts files and summaries obtained by The Oregonian.

Under Oregon’s flexible statute of limitations, victims of sexual abuse can bring cases once they’ve discovered how the abuse affected them, sometimes decades after the actual crimes.

In Oregon, the Boy Scouts faces at least four more pending civil cases involving allegations of child sex abuse.

The first criminal sex-abuse charges against Dykes came in 1983, when two boys told Portland police that the Scout leader molested them. Dykes pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree sexual abuse and was sentenced to probation.

The lawsuits contend that the Mormon church discovered in the early 1980s that Dykes had molested a Scout but failed to thoroughly investigate and question Dykes, failed to report abuse to law enforcement, failed to provide mental health services to victims and failed to remove Dykes from contact with children.

"We believe that the Mormon church and the Boy Scouts allowed Timur Dykes to stay in contact with children for years after his first arrest and conviction for child sex abuse," said plaintiff attorney Kelly Clark.

But Steve English, attorney for the Mormon church, said the two new alleged victims were never members of the church and that Dykes had been expelled from the church nearly a decade before the alleged abuse in the late 1980s.

The Boy Scouts Cascade Pacific Council declined to comment on the case.

Dykes has been a source of legal troubles for the Boy Scouts before. Three lawsuits alleging abuse filed in 1987 resulted in undisclosed settlements. The mother of one of Dykes’ earliest alleged victims told The Oregonian in 1995 that abuse of her son contributed to his suicide.

Peter Zuckerman: 503-294-5919; peterzuckerman@ news.oregonian.com

Two Portland men join sex-abuse lawsuit against Boy Scouts, Mormon church

Posted by Peter Zuckerman, The Oregonian
June 25, 2008 15:00PM

Two Portland men filed an $8.5 million lawsuit today against the Mormon church and the Boy Scouts, bringing to eight the total number of former Boy Scouts alleging sexual abuse by Timur Van Dykes, who was a church and scout leader in the 1980s and early 90s.

The lawsuit contends that Timur Van Dykes molested Boy Scouts in Troop 719, which was supervised by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Dykes, a registered sex offender who now lives in Southwest Portland, has been convicted of at least 26 sex crimes since 1983.

Together, the pending abuse cases filed in Multnomah County Court against the scouts and the church seek $33.5 million.

Six of the alleged victims agreed earlier this month to enter talks to settle their lawsuits but failed to reach a resolution.

At least a dozen Oregon child-abuse cases are pending against the Boy Scouts.

– Peter Zuckerman; peterzuckerman@news.oregonian.com

Two Men to File Suit Against LDS Church & Boy Scouts of America

Local News 8
Pocatello Falls, ID

Two more men are set to file suit against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Boy Scouts of America.  They’re filing suit for abuse they suffered between 1989 and 1992 at the hands of Timur Dykes.

Dykes is a convicted pedophile from Oregon.  According to the Multnomah County Department of Community Justice Parole & Probation, Dykes has been convicted of Sodomy II, Sodomy III and Sex Abuse I.  The department says he used his positions in his church and as a scout leader to prey on vulnerable boys and families.

According to Portland, Oregon attorney Kelly Clark, two brothers filed suit against the LDS church and the BSA in February 2007.  Four more men filed in October 2007.  All six men claimed the church and the scouts knew how dangerous Dykes was.

The lawsuit will be filed Wednesday in the Circuit Court for the State of Oregon in Multnomah County.

Talks aim to settle sex abuse lawsuit

$25 million – Six men have filed against the Boy Scouts and the Mormon church

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

PETER ZUCKERMAN

The Oregonian Staff

Six Portland men agreed to enter talks this week to settle their $25 million lawsuit against the Mormon church and the Boy Scouts of America over alleged sexual abuse.

The lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Portland contends that in the 1980s and 1990s Timur Van Dykes molested Boy Scouts in Troop 719, which the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints supervised. Since 1983, Dykes, 51, has been convicted of at least 26 sex crimes.

"The amazing thing about this case is the extent to which these institutions continued to allow him access to kids, even after he had acknowledged sexually abusing boys and, indeed, after he had been convicted for doing so," said Portland attorney Kelly Clark, who represents the plaintiffs.

Attorney Steve English, who represents the Mormon Church, said that perspective is inaccurate.

"The church worked cooperatively with the Portland police, who learned of this abuse before the church did, and the church suspended Mr. Dykes’ privileges as a church member within two weeks of learning of this abuse," English said.

The Cascade Pacific Council of the Boy Scouts of America in Portland did not return phone calls.

Dykes, who lives in Southwest Portland, is one of about 50 Oregon leaders expelled by the Boy Scouts for sex abuse between 1970 and 1990, according to confidential Boy Scout files obtained by The Oregonian. The number of Boy Scout leaders ejected in Oregon eclipses the number of abusive priests identified statewide in the recent Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal.

Under Oregon’s flexible statute of limitations, victims of sexual abuse can bring cases once they’ve discovered how the abuse affected them, sometimes decades after the actual crimes.

Dykes has been a source of legal troubles for the Boy Scouts before. Three lawsuits alleging abuse filed in 1987 resulted in undisclosed settlements. The mother of one of Dykes’ earliest alleged victims told The Oregonian in 1995 that abuse of her son contributed to his suicide.

Peter Zuckerman: 503-294-5919; peterzuckerman@ news.oregonian.com

Supreme court rules against city on abuse

Oregon high court confirms report date as key in civil suit

By WILLIAM McCALL
Associated Press writer

By RODGER NICHOLS
of The Dalles Chronicle

     PORTLAND — The statute of limitations on a sex abuse claim against a government employee in Oregon may depend on when the victim realizes the government was involved, not when the actual abuse occurred.

     The Oregon Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday the city of The Dalles could not claim the statute began running when a member of the police Explorer Scout program was sexually abused by a police officer in 1996.

     The boy was 16 at the time, but he did not disclose the abuse until 2001, after learning that another police officer was under investigation for serving alcohol to a minor.

     The victim was then called to testify at a grand jury hearing on the officer who abused him, James Tannehill, and realized he had a claim against the city.

     Kelly Clark, attorney for the victim, said the ruling “closes one of the loopholes where the government goes to hide when a government employee abuses a kid.”

     Clark said government agencies have argued the statute of limitations begins when the abuse occurs, but that is “totally unrealistic for any child sex abuse survivor,” especially when the offender is typically somebody in authority.

     “If you have a government coverup, the clock begins to run when you discover the government had a role in the abuse,” Clark said, “so it’s really a big deal.”

     The victim, identified only as “T.R.,” filed a negligence and sexual battery claim against The Dalles in June 2002. The suit was amended in July 2003 and a federal civil rights suit was added in April 2004.

     The city argued the two-year statute of limitations had already expired because the abuse occurred in 1996, but a trial judge rejected the argument.

     A civil court agreed, awarding $81,260 in damages under the federal civil rights law and a supplemental judgment awarding plaintiff $261,701.92 in costs and attorney fees.

     The Oregon Court of Appeals, however, ruled in 2006 in favor of the city, concluding that “at the time of the abuse itself, plaintiff had sufficient information” to determine he had a claim against the city.

     The Oregon Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals and sent the case back to that court for reconsideration.

     In an opinion by Justice Martha L. Walters, the Supreme Court ruled the question about the sexual abuse claim should have gone to a jury to decide.

     The court noted the Explorer Scout program in The Dalles was created and operated by the city in cooperation with the Boy Scouts of America to introduce teenagers to law enforcement and involve them in police operations.

     The Boy Scouts had advised the city about its policies and procedures to prevent child sexual abuse, the court said, but the city delegated the authority to run the program to Tannehill without training him for the position and also failed to create a required oversight committee.

     The victim was 16 and living in foster care when Tannehill approached him and suggested he enroll in the Explorer program. After regularly spending time alone with the victim, on and off duty, and serving him alcohol, Tannehill abused the teen, the court said.

     The court said the teen was confused and asked two other city police officers about Tannehill serving him alcohol and whether he had an interest in boys. “One just laughed, the other told him he didn’t want to talk about it,” Walters wrote.

     The victim broke off contact, graduated early from high school and joined the Army. He was 22 when his grandmother read him a newspaper article that reported the Oregon State Police had charged another police officer in The Dalles with serving alcohol to a minor.

     The victim contacted state police investigators, told them about the abuse by Tannehill, and was called before a grand jury, where he “suspected for the first time that department members, and perhaps even command staff, may have permitted the sexual abuse that Tannehill had committed and failed to protect Explorers, including himself, against such abuse,” Walters wrote.

     The court said the indifference shown by the two fellow officers the victim questioned about Tannehill “discouraged any further inquiry.”

     The court also noted the victim did not discover until later that prosecutors and state police suspected the problem was more widespread than a single officer and that the city may have failed in its duty to protect him and other Explorer Scout members.

     As a result, the Supreme Court ruled that a jury could have found the victim had filed his federal civil rights claim in a timely manner, and the trial judge correctly rejected the city’s argument the statute of limitations had run.

     Tannehill, a sergeant, and another officer, Lance Kirk, were convicted in 2001 of abusing boys.

     The Dalles City Attorney Gene Parker said Friday morning that the city had received a fax late Thursday from attorney Robert Franz outlining the Supreme Court decision. Franz represented Northland Insurance Company through the trial and appeal process. Northland represented the city at the time the incident occurred.

     “I’ll probably need to talk to Mr. Franz and find out what can be the next step,” Parker said, “whether there’s going to be any further attempts to consider any further appeals, or if the judgment now just stands. I would assume at this point that if the judgment stands, we would be covered by our insurance policy and they would end up paying a judgment.”

 

Oregon Supreme Court allows sex abuse claim

By WILLIAM McCALL

The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The statute of limitations on a sex abuse claim against a government employee in Oregon may depend on when the victim realizes the government was involved, not when the actual abuse occurred.

The Oregon Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday the city of The Dalles could not claim the statute began running when a member of the police Explorer Scout program was sexually abused by a police officer in 1996.

The boy was 16 at the time, but he did not disclose the abuse until 2001, after learning that another police officer was under investigation for serving alcohol to a minor.

The victim was then called to testify at a grand jury hearing on the officer who abused him, James Tannehill, and realized he had a claim against the city.

Kelly Clark, attorney for the victim, said the ruling "closes one of the loopholes where the government goes to hide when a government employee abuses a kid."

Clark said government agencies have argued the statute of limitations begins when the abuse occurs, but that is "totally unrealistic for any child sex abuse survivor," especially when the offender is typically somebody in authority.

"If you have a government coverup, the clock begins to run when you discover the government had a role in the abuse," Clark said, "so it’s really a big deal."

The victim filed a negligence and sexual battery claim against The Dalles in June 2002, and then added a federal civil rights claim in July 2003.

The city argued the two-year statute of limitations had already expired because the abuse occurred in 1996, but a trial judge rejected the argument.

The Oregon Court of Appeals, however, ruled in favor of the city, concluding that "at the time of the abuse itself, plaintiff had sufficient information" to determine he had a claim against the city.

(more…)

Lawyer in sex abuse suit deems case typical


VALE  – The attorney for the Portland man suing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Boy Scouts of America said his client is typical of many who come forward later in life with sexual abuse lawsuits aimed at individuals employed or formerly employed by high-profile entities.

Portland attorney Kelly Clark, a child sex abuse attorney and former Oregon state legislator, filed a lawsuit in Malheur County Circuit Court Feb. 21 on behalf of a Portland-area man seeking nearly $5 million in general damages from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Boy Scouts of America.

The man, referred to in court documents only as Tom Doe, asserts he experienced abuse from an LDS youth leader and Boy Scout troop master named Larren Arnold, as a youth in Nampa.

Clark, an attorney with the Portland law firm O’Donnell, Clark and Crew LLP, said based on his experience working with sex abuse victim claims, he absolutely believes Doe’s allegations are true and the lawsuit warranted.

“Because I’ve done a number of these cases over the years, I have a system of evaluating both the client and the case, and this met all the criteria,” Clark said, adding when a potential client comes to him with a case, the first thing he does is establish its plausibility based on the background he is provided.

(more…)

Mormons, Boy Scouts targets of new suit

Abuse alleged – The plaintiff is the seventh Portland man to sue the Boy Scouts
Friday, February 22, 2008

PETER ZUCKERMAN

The Oregonian Staff

The Boy Scouts of America and the Mormon church face another lawsuit for alleged child sexual abuse.

The $5.1 million case filed Thursday by a Portland man alleges that Larren Arnold, a Boy Scout and Mormon youth leader, abused him as a Scout in Idaho and Oregon between 1967 and 1970.

Arnold, now 72, was convicted in Bannock County, Idaho, in 1985 of felony child abuse in an unrelated case.

A May 31, 1990, letter from then-Ore-Ida Council executive Kim Hansen, obtained by The Oregonian, says:

"Arnold’s ecclesiastical leader . . . had firsthand knowledge of child sexual molestations of one or more Scouts. No charges were filed as the mother was talked out of it at the time by church leaders."

The Scouts blacklisted Arnold in 1991, six years after his conviction, Scout records show.

The plaintiff, now 53, is the seventh Portland man suing the Boy Scouts for alleged sexual abuse.

One case, brought by two brothers last year, also targets the Mormon church. Combined, all the suits seek $33 million.

The latest case, like one other, alleges the Boy Scouts and the Mormon church knew by the 1960s they had a widespread pedophile problem. The Scouts nationally removed leaders at a rate of one every three days for child molestation, the latest suit says.

"These institutions of trust — the (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) and the Boy Scouts — which held such emotional, spiritual, and moral authority over children, badly failed at protecting them," said Portland attorney Kelly Clark, who is handling the suit along with others.

The Mormon church and the Boy Scouts say they take child abuse seriously, do everything possible to protect children and will investigate the alleged abuse from 40 years ago. Boy Scout Ore-Ida Council executive David Keeper said the Scouts need an opportunity to review the case before responding to its specifics.

Church spokesman J. Craig Rowe said in an e-mail that it "seems difficult for anyone to claim that some unidentified church leader somehow kept the matter (Arnold’s 1985 conviction) from becoming public, or otherwise allowed Arnold to prey on children."

The case was filed in Malheur County, where some abuse is alleged to have occurred.

Arnold, reached in Arizona, said he lives in Pocatello, Idaho.

He said he abused more than one boy while a Scout leader, stayed in Scouting for 12 to 15 years and that the church and Scouts never questioned his background or tried to stop him.

Arnold said he turned himself in in 1984 for abuse in the Bannock County case. He said he has had a clean record since, went through years of treatment and doesn’t recall molesting anyone in Oregon.

"I’m not saying I didn’t do it, but I don’t remember," he said. "I’m sorry for what happened."

Portland Man From Nampa Suing LDS & Boy Scouts

KTRV – Fox 12, Boise, Idaho

Nampa, Idaho — A former Nampa teenager is suing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints and the Boy Scouts for 5-million dollars, claiming he was sexually abused.

The man who’s now 54-years-old, says it happened decades ago.

Why is the lawsuit being filed now?

The Idaho and Oregon statute of limitations allows it.

Even though the sexual abuse allegedly happened nearly 40 years ago.

Tom Doe’s attorney’s says his client couldn’t continue living in denial.

"There was fondling involved, oral sex, very serious stuff on the continuum, it was not just a light brush or touch", said Oregon plantiff attorney Kelly Clark.

Things have changed over 40 years at the LDS Nampa second ward, but the painful memories for one portland professional of his teenage years growing up in Nampa from 1967 to 1970 at the facility remain.

As well as the camping trips to Oegon where the bulk of the abuse took place.

That’s according to his Oegon attorney, Kelly clark who says " Tom Doe", not his real name, filed the sexual abuse lawsuit against the LDS church and Ore-Ida Council, Boy Scouts of America.

"My client was a boy 12, 13, 14, years old when he was sexually abused by a fellow named larren arnold who was a boy scout troop leader and also a priest youth leader for lds church", said Clark.

Clark says, in 1980 arnold was convicted of felony sexual abuse on a child in Pocatello and is not named in the lawsuit.

But the claim against, what Clark calls the responsible organizations comes after Doe reportedly suffered emotional and relationship problems.

Many years later, allegedly after another adult witness failed to report the abuse.

"My client wasn’t waiting, he never planned to tell anybody, he was going to carry this to his grave with him", said Clark.

Within the last few years, Doe came out of denial.

"Under oregon law the statute of limitations is told, frozen up till three years after the person recognizes they’ve been injured, idaho statute of limitations works the same way, they give people five years", said Clark.

LDS spokesman Craig Rowe released this statement:

"The church of jesus christ of latter day saints has a zero tolerance policy for child abuse and does all it can to help victims and report abuse. It will seriously investigate these decades’ old allegations".

Doe is seeking five-point-one million dollars for physical, mental and medical harm.

"If he was standing here he would say i’m angry at the person who did this to me, i’m angry at the people who let this happen", said Clark.

The LDS Church says it hasn’t seen the lawsuit and raises serious issues the plantiff’s attorney contacted media before the claim was filed.

We were unable to contact the Boy Scouts of America’s national office in Texas for comment.