PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) – A lawsuit filed against the Mormon Church and the Boy Scouts of America expanded on Wednesday to include four more men charging the organizations with ignoring sex abuses committed decades ago by a man who served as a church teacher and a scout leader.
The six men, who filed a new lawsuit in Oregon state Circuit Court in Multnomah County, allege that Timur Dykes, a former spiritual leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and former scout leader, repeatedly abused them when they were boys.
Dykes, a convicted sex offender, is listed on Multnomah County’s registered sex offender Web page. He is not named as a defendant in this suit.
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“Both the Mormon Church and Boy Scouts were well aware by at least the 1960s that they had a serious, institution-wide infestation of child abuse, stretching across the country,” said the plaintiffs’ attorney Kelly Clark. “They did not clear it up.”
The original two plaintiffs, two brothers in their early 30s, dropped the original lawsuit and refiled the case to add four more plaintiffs. The men filed the lawsuit under the names “Jack Doe.”
The lawsuit asks for $25 million in damages.
Dykes was allowed to continue in positions of trust and continue to abuse boys for four or five years after he was first arrested or investigated as early as 1981, said Clark.
“We work very, very hard to protect children in the Boy Scouts,” said Gregg Shields, national spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America, who declined to comment on the suit.
Portland attorney Stephen English, representing the Mormon Church, said the church is thoroughly investigating what happened. He also said Dykes was never a member of the Mormon clergy and has been excommunicated.