LANSING (WWJ/AP) – A mid-Michigan judge has ruled that a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America over sexual molestation claims may move forward.
Ingham County Circuit Judge Joyce Draganchuk made the ruling Wednesday in the case stemming from an investigation into 54-year-old Roger Young, who was charged with first- and second-degree criminal sexual assault and possession of child pornography in 2009, and killed himself that year.
The lawsuit, which is seeking more than $100,000 in damages, was filed in 2011 by Mid-Michigan Guardianship Services on behalf of two brothers who say they were molested by Young, an assistant scoutmaster with the Chief Okemos Council, more than 200 times.
The lawsuit claims the scouts knew about an investigation into Young but didn’t restrict him from working with children. According to court documents, the scouts were informed of three instances of Young’s suspicious behavior — including an inappropriate birthday card Young sent to a Boy Scout, and another instance where he was witnessed alone with the brothers while they were wearing only underwear.
Frederick Plumb, an attorney for Boy Scouts of America, argued that Michigan law doesn’t hold the organization liable for Young’s actions. He said the organization had no way knowing that Young’s actions, which at the time did not qualify as sexual abuse, would lead to assaults.
The next court date has not yet been scheduled.
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