A Santa Barbara judge has overruled a Boy Scouts of America (BSA) motion to dismiss a case involving a Scout molestation, and scheduled an October 3 Superior Court trial to determine punitive damages.
The family of a former Troop 36 Scout is seeking punitive damages on grounds that BSA negligently failed to educate, train, and warn Scouts and parents, as well as alert the public, of the dangers from abuse.
The plaintiffs cite an estimated 4,000 BSA files of alleged sex abuse nationally since the 1970s, but kept secret, meaning that the public was unaware of the dangers.
But in a key tentative ruling in favor of the BSA on Friday, February 14, Superior Court Judge Donna Geck found that BSA and the local Los Padres Council of Scouts did not control actions of local troops and leaders and was not responsible for their actions.
What’s at stake is not criminal guilt because former adult volunteer Al Stein, a 400-pound former Eagle Scout, previously pleaded no contest to charges of molesting the 13-year-old Scout at a 2007 Christmas tree lot.