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Thu September 27, 2012
Judge: Case against Boy Scouts can proceed
A Michigan judge has ruled a case against the Boy Scouts of America can go ahead.
In 2009, an assistant Scoutmaster with the Chief Okemos Council, which serves Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties, was accused of molesting two Scouts.
Roger Young was charged with criminal sexual assault and possession of child pornography. He committed suicide later that year.
The Boy Scouts of America claimed it wasn't liable for the alleged assaults in Michigan, but on Wednesday Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Joyce Draganchuk disagreed.
George Hamilton Foley is one of the attorneys representing the boys. He says the Boy Scouts had been told about Young's alleged behavior before he was charged, but did not take action.
The abuse allegedly occurred in 2006 and 2007.
"Sometimes during Scout activities, sometimes at Young's home, where under the pretext of working on Scout badges he started what we call grooming them -- which turned out to be his motive -- to molest them," Foley says.
Foley says he believes The Boy Scouts is a good organization overall, but says it needs to use more caution when screening personnel.
"They just have to be more rigorous in enforcing their child protection program, doing criminal background checks, providing adequate training for the Boy Scout volunteers," Foley says.
David Zoglio and Oregon-based attorney Kelly Clark are also representing the boys in the case.
An attorney for the Scouts was not available for comment.
The case is expected to go to trial in May.