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Boy Scouts of America Faces Lawsuit in Connecticut Sex Abuse Case

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Ryan Caron King
/
WNPR
The lawsuit was filed at Hartford Superior Court.
The lawsuit alleges that John Doe was put in harm's way by allowing him and other scouts to stay alone with Dabrow.

A Connecticut man is suing the Boy Scouts of America, claiming he was sexually abused by a Boy Scout leader in the 1990s.

Starting in the late 1980s, Joseph Dabrow, then a leader of Troop 24 in Ledyard lived in a clubhouse owned by the Boy Scouts of America. Parents would often leave the boys in Dabrow's care, where according to court records he would allegedly shower with the boys, and on occasion photograph them in the nude and sexually assault them.

One of those boys was John Doe as he is identified in the complaint and summons filed Wednesday in Hartford Superior Court. Dabrow would later spend five years in jail for multiple child sex crimes.

Calling it a "recipe for disaster," the lawsuit alleges that the Connecticut Rivers Council of the Boy Scouts of America put John Doe in harm's way by allowing him and other scouts to stay alone with Dabrow.  John Doe is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

In a statement to WNPR, the Boy Scouts of America said:

"While we cannot discuss ongoing litigation, any instance of child victimization or abuse is intolerable and unacceptable. The behavior included in these allegations runs counter to everything for which the BSA stands. Upon learning of this individual's arrest in 1998, we took immediate action to remove this individual and preclude him from any further participation in our programs.
"Recognizing youth protection requires sustained vigilance, in the years since these incidents took place we have continued to develop and enhance our efforts to protect youth, regularly consulting with experts from law enforcement, child safety, psychology, and other disciplines to ensure its efforts consistently evolve along with the ever-changing awareness of the dangers and challenges facing youth.
"Today, the BSA seeks to prevent child abuse through a comprehensive program of education on the subject, the chartered organization leader selection process, criminal background and other checks, policies and procedures to serve as barriers to abuse and the prompt mandatory reporting of any allegation or suspicion of abuse."

Ray Hardman is Connecticut Public’s Arts and Culture Reporter. He is the host of CPTV’s Emmy-nominated original series “Where Art Thou?” Listeners to Connecticut Public Radio may know Ray as the local voice of “Morning Edition”, and later of “All Things Considered.”
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