Lawsuit accuses Boy Scouts of negligence in New Mexico abuse case
The Associated Press
December 12, 2018
|Gavel, criminal justice, court, trial|
A 44-year-old man has filed a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America, saying two Catholic priests who served as scout leaders in New Mexico sexually abused him for years starting in the early 1980s.
The lawsuit filed Thursday accuses the organization of negligence — with the victim saying officials knew or had reason to know the priests had abused boys.
The victim, who remains unnamed in the court filing, said he was abused during hiking and camping trips in the state, including at Cochití Lake and Jemez.
The priests accused of abuse in the lawsuit are Ronald Bruckner and Robert Malloy, neither of whom are listed as defendants.
Chris Shelby, the director of the Boy Scouts branch in New Mexico, did not immediately return an Associated Press call requesting comment.
He told KOB-TV on Monday that the organization — which like the Catholic Church has been at the center of sexual abuse scandals in the past — has implemented numerous policies since the 1980s to improve protections for youth.
"We are a safe organization," he told the news station.
An archdiocese spokeswoman could not immediately provide comment on the clergy's behalf.
The man who filed the lawsuit said he had been a member of a troop that operated out of the parish Our Lady of the Assumption in Albuquerque. He said the abuse referenced in the lawsuit had resulted in physical, mental and emotional distress.
The parish is a part of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, which filed for bankruptcy recently after settling numerous claims of sexual abuse by clergy over the years.