Former scout files molestation lawsuit against Boy Scouts
MIAMI LAKES, Fla. (WSVN) -- A former boy scout has filed a lawsuit against the South Florida Council of the Boy Scouts of America almost 30 years after, he alleges, scout leaders sexually abused him.
The victim, a former South Florida boy scout who did not want to be identified, claimed, he was passed around in a sort of sex ring by scout leaders until three pedophiles had had their way with him as well as other scouts, in the 1980s.
According to the complaint, in early 1983, when the victim was 9 years old, he met Joseph "Pepe" Laurita, a scout master of Troop 88 in Hialeah. The victim said, Laurita sexually molested and abused him on repeated occasions, including sodomizing him. Laurita also photographed the victim in the nude.
After several months of frequent sexual abuse, the victim claims, Laurita introduced the victim to David Aiken, the scoutmaster of Troop 21 and a leader in the Boy Scouts. Aiken was aware that Laurita had been sexually abusing the boy and other members of his troop. Aiken then allegedly also began sexually abusing the victim. "He was caught abusing boys in Coconut Grove," said attorney Jeff Herman. "We believe that instead of completely removing David Aiken from the Boys Scouts, they sent him down to Homestead and began to sexually abuse boys there including my client."
Last year, it was revealed that the Boy Scouts maintained secret files, known as "ineligible volunteer files" or "perversion files," which contained the names of Boy Scout leaders and adult volunteers who were alleged to have or in fact did sexually molest or otherwise sexually abuse scouts. "These Boy Scout leaders communicate with each other about who they were sexually abusing," said Herman. "He ended up going to a Boy Scout camp in the Orlando area, and when he arrived there were other Boy Scout leaders waiting from him to come, and he was sexually abused there."
Families were never made aware, however, and the lawsuit alleges the organization of reassigning the offenders to other locations. The Boy Scouts had maintained such files on both Laurita and Aiken.
The victim bringing this lawsuit said this alleged deception only allowed for more victims at the hands of these men. "It would have helped 10 or 15 kids that lived around my neighborhood that these bastards did this to," he said. "I know that, and they jokingly used to toss us around, take pictures of me, make me perform oral sex on other little kids. I want this to be exposed. I don't want you guys to cut, edit. No. Just say it the way it is."
After the lawsuit was filed, the Boy Scouts of America South Florida Council released the following statement: "Any instance of child victimization or abuse is intolerable and unacceptable. While we can't comment on the lawsuit, we deeply regret that there have been times when Scouts were abused, and for that we are very sorry and extend our deepest sympathies to victims. The BSA was one of the first youth programs to develop youth protection policies and education, and in the 30 years since these events took place has continuously enhanced its multi-tiered policies and procedures, which now include background checks, comprehensive training programs, and safety policies, like requiring all members to report even suspicions of abuse directly to local law enforcement."
According to the National Sex Registry website, one of the ex-scout leaders, Aiken, is now a registered sex offender.
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