Damages Assessed in Boy Scout Trial

Superior Court Judge Donna Geck has ruled that former Boy Scout volunteer Al Stein is liable for $775,875 in damages for molesting a 13-year-old Santa Barbara Scout in 2007.

However, since Stein, now 36, is “destitute” and reportedly on SSI in a Salinas motel, there is no expectation that he will ever be paying a penny of the damage award, the boy’s attorney, Tim Hale, told The Santa Barbara Independent today.

The ruling is “purely symbolic” and marks a closure to the case, Hale said. Judge Geck’s ruling was based on testimony of a professor of psychology that the young scout suffered severe symptoms of post-traumatic stress of a chronic nature, likely requiring future therapy.

Judge Geck found that Stein is liable for $875 for past economic damages and $75,000 for future economic damages, both related to therapy costs, Hale said. Judge Geck also ruled that Stein is liable for past non-economic damages of $300,000 for past noneconomic damages and $400,000 in future noneconomic damages, both relating to emotional stress.

“This is about what we expected,” Hale said. The boy’s family sued the Boy Scouts (BSA) and local Los Padres Council of the Boy Scouts, but after three days of testimony recently, the Scouting organizations agreed to settle the case. Amount of the settlement was not announced.

Hale said that he regretted that the BSA’s so-called secret “perversion files” of past molestations was not released due to the settlement, but he felt that the trial served as an alert to the public of the risks of molestation in Scouting.

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