Three former Portland Boy Scouts filed a $21 million lawsuit today against the Boy Scouts of America and its local chapter (Cascade Pacific Council). The suit, filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, alleges that the three Plaintiffs were among dozens of boys who were sexually abused by a notorious “pied piper” pedophile Scout Leader named Calvin Malone. The men allege that they were abused after Malone had been caught by the Boy Scouts of America and let back into the organization.
Today’s lawsuit is one of several against the Boy Scouts based on alleged negligence regarding Malone. A separate suit is currently pending in Multnomah County Circuit Court on behalf one other Portland-area victim. In addition, four men are prosecuting a suit against the Boy Scouts in Great Falls, Montana for sexual abuse they suffered after the Boy Scouts allowed Malone to rejoin Scouting there after being caught (again) abusing boys in Portland.
“Calvin Malone has admitted under oath that he abused dozens of scouts over a decade — in Portland, California, Montana, Alabama, and even Europe. The tragedy is that most of this abuse happened after the Boy Scouts of America learned that Malone was abusing boys and decided to let him back in as a Scout Leader. These young lives were shattered – and it was completely avoidable,” said attorney Peter Janci of Portland law firm Crew Janci LLP, which represents the victims in today’s lawsuit along with the law firm of Vogt and Long. Crew Janci is also representing the four Montana Plaintiffs in lawsuits against the Boy Scouts, which also stem from abuse by Calvin Malone.
Malone was first kicked out of Scouting in California around 1970, after sexually abusing a boy and getting caught giving alcohol to young boys. At that time, the Boy Scouts opened one of their secret internal “ineligible volunteer” files on Malone at their national headquarters, according to existing Boy Scout documents. (See attached.) “There is no evidence that the Boy Scouts called the police or warned any of the parents or youth about Malone at that time,” said attorney Stephen Crew.
Although the creation of the secret file should have Malone “ineligible” to be a Scout Leader in the future, in fact, a short time later the Boy Scouts decided to give Malone another chance. In 1974, the Oregon body of the Boy Scouts – the Columbia Pacific Council (now known as the Cascade Pacific Council) – decided to hire Malone as a “District Aid” – a paid employee with responsibilities of: (1) “Recruit[ing] boys and adults to participate in the Scouting program”; “Organiz[ing] new units [troops, cub packs, etc.]…”; (3) “Act[ing] as a substitute adult leader for unit activities whenever necessary”; and (4) “Assist[ing] in planning and directing Scouting activities in [CPC’s] service area.”
As a paid Scouting employee with the Columbia Pacific Council, Malone had access to hundreds of boys in dozens of troops around the greater Portland area. Malone was even allowed full-time use of the Scout-owned “Scout-mobile” – a van that Malone used to take boys on out-of-state camping trips (and abuse them).
The Boy Scouts gave Malone this wide-ranging access to boys despite that Malone had previously been banned from Scouting for giving alcohol to young boys and abusing a boy in California. The Boy Scouts acknowledged the reason for concern when they rehired Malone in 1974 – sending a letter marked “Personal and Confidential” to the regional Oregon scout headquarter “alert[ing] [the local office] to be on the lookout for anything that might cause [them] to have concern about [Malone].”
“The Boy Scouts knew that Calvin Malone was a danger to children, but they decided to let him back in anyway,” said attorney Steve Crew. “They kept the danger to Portland area boy scouts a secret – including from the parents.”
Today, the Boy Scouts claim to have destroyed their secret file on Malone (although surviving documentation confirm it once existed). According to lawyers for the victims in today’s lawsuit, the Boy Scouts are still trying to keep information about Malone a secret:
“The Boy Scouts have denied that documents exist, claimed they were destroyed, refused to produce them during litigation, and fought tooth and nail to avoid the truth about Malone coming out. We had to get a Court order in Montana to get them to admit that documents about Malone existed there. And they are still hiding information about Malone’s activities,” said attorney Steve Crew.
“The Boy Scouts want to tell people that they have changed, that they are transparent, and that the organization is safe. But, as far as we can tell, when the rubber meets the road in litigation, they are the same organization trying to keep secretes about the abuse of boys,” said attorney Peter Janci.
According to Boy Scouts documents, while in Portland, Malone listed as an adult leader in a troop alongside another notorious pedophile-Scoutmaster named Steven Terry Hill. (Hill has been the subject of multiple lawsuits for his sexual abuse of at least a dozen Portland boy scouts during the late 1970s.)
In 1993, Malone was convicted of Rape of a Child in the First Degree and two counts of Child Molestation in the First Degree in Snohomish County Washington. Malone was originally scheduled for release in September of 2012, but the State of Washington used a civil commitment process to keep Malone confined based on his “likel[ihood] to engage in predatory acts of sexual violence unless confined to a secure facility.”
Malone is currently held on what is commonly known as “Sex Offender Island” – a special Washington State detention facility on McNeil Island that houses nearly 300 violent sex offenders. The only way on or off the island is by ferry.
Today’s lawsuit is one of number of recent lawsuits filed based on the Boy Scouts of America’s secret internal files on pedophiles called “Ineligible Volunteer” or “I.V.” files. Crew and Janci were part of the Plaintiff’s trial team in the 2010 Portland case of Kerry Lewis v. Boy Scouts of America,
which won the first public disclosure of the secret files. The secret files formed the foundation of that trial, which resulted in a verdict against the Boy Scouts of $19.9 million, including $18.5 million in punitive damages. Crew Janci LLP is widely known for representing survivors of child sexual abuse in cases against large institutions, including the Boy Scouts, Catholic Church, Mormon Church, and elite private schools.
Read today’s lawsuit complaint here: Complaint
If you or someone you care about was sexually abused and you would like advice from an attorney about the rights and options for victims of child sexual abuse, please contact Crew Janci LLP today for a free, confidential consultation at 1-888-407-0224 or by using our private online form. We will treat you with discretion and respect.