Ex-Boy Scout alleges sex abuse by troop leader
By Matthew Glowicki
April 6, 2016
A Louisville man has come forward nearly 40 years after he says his scoutmaster sexually abused him, alleging in a lawsuit that Boy Scouts of America officials knew about it but failed to tell police.
The man, only identified by his initials in the suit filed in Jefferson Circuit Court, claimed former leader of Troop 364, Timothy Fleming, sexually assaulted the then-minor in the 1970s at Fleming's Louisville home, on two out-of-town trips and on property owned by the troop's sponsor, Aububon Baptist Church.
Both the national scouting organization and the Louisville church were aware of the allegations, according to the suit, and failed to report the allegations to police, prosecutors or Child Protective Services – as was required by state law.
The suit, filed Friday, also alleges both the church and the scouting group were told of "confidential reports of sexual abuse of minors," yet allowed Fleming to continue leadership roles in both organizations.
Documents made public through a 2010 civil suit in Oregon against the Boy Scouts of America detail an allegation against Fleming from the 1970s.
Boy Scout officials fought the release of the papers, internally referred to as "the perversion files," as detailed in a 2012 Los Angeles Times investigation into sexual abuse reports against scouting leaders.
According to those documents made public by the Boy Scouts of America following the lawsuit, Fleming was a 27-year-old salesman at the time of the accusations, a deacon at Audubon Baptist and interested in young people's programs.
Among the documents was a "confidential record sheet" completed by regional scouting executive Hal Cory, which detailed that Fleming registered as scoutmaster of Troop 364 in May 1977 only to resign three months later.
Cory checked a box labeled "substantiated reports" and asked that the case be put into a "confidential file."
Another letter confirms that after it conferred with its attorney, Boy Scouts of America placed Fleming into that confidential file.
In a 2012 interview with The Courier-Journal, Cory said the standard procedure was to "bring parents up to speed" and let them decide whether to contact police.
"If we brought every one of those things to court, we would have had to have a special group of lawyers," Cory told the paper. "We thought we were doing the right thing by removing leaders from any contact with kids and notifying their parents."
Allegations contained in a lawsuit represent just one side of a case.
In a statement Tuesday, the Boy Scouts of America said while it cannot discuss ongoing litigation, "any instance of child victimization or abuse is intolerable and unacceptable." The organization pointed to educational programs, organizational structures, background checks and other policies and procedures that seek to prevent child abuse.
“The behavior included in these allegations runs counter to everything for which the BSA stands," the statement reads. "Upon learning of these allegations nearly four decades ago we removed this individual from Scouting and precluded him from further participation in our programs."
Fleming was not home to answer a reporter's call late Monday afternoon. Two calls Tuesday were answered and immediately ended.
Attorney Brent Oppenheimer, who represents the plaintiff along with Chris Meinhart, said their client only recently recovered memories of the alleged sexual abuse. The suit notes the man has suffered serious psychological and emotional injuries including depression, anxiety, sexual disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder.
"It is a shame that none of the defendants has ever accepted responsibility or been held accountable for the breach of trust, failure to supervise and outrageous actions that brought our client to this point," Oppenheimer said in an email.