James Doe (Pseudonym) Files Lawsuit Against Boy Scouts of America and Coastal Georgia Council

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Sexual abuse lawsuit filed against Boy Scouts and Coastal Georgia Council in Savannah, GA, by James Doe (a pseudonym used to protect to the young man) by Atlanta Law Firm Edmond, Lindsay, & Hoffler.

Edmond, Lindsay & Hoffler, LLP, Attorneys at Law

Our firm is aggressively pursuing this case because we feel that our client and other child victims deserve a voice and an opportunity for justice.

A lawsuit has been filed against the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and the Coastal Georgia Council on behalf of a young man who was sexually abused by Richard Merrey, a volunteer Assistant Scout Master for a Boy Scout troop in Guyton, Georgia, a small town near Savannah. In 2011, Merrey, who was also in the Navy, pled guilty at a general court martial (19NOV10-SEKB-0232-8BNA/C) for sexually abusing James Doe and several other young boys. He is presently serving a 25-year sentence for his crimes. The lawsuit [Case #STCV1600317, filed in State Court of Chatham County in Savannah, GA] was filed by Edmond, Lindsay & Hoffler, LLP using a pseudonym, James Doe, to protect the young man’s privacy.

The lawsuit alleges that the Boy Scouts and Coastal Georgia Council let Merrey remain a volunteer after learning that he presented a threat to the safety and well-being of children enrolled in the scouting program. Bill Atkins, a partner at Edmond, Lindsay & Hoffler who will be leading the Firm’s legal team in this case, explained, “We have a pending lawsuit (John Doe v. Boy Scouts of America and Coastal Empire Council, Inc., State Court of Chatham County #STCV1301420) against the Boy Scouts on behalf of another one of Merrey’s victims and, during discovery, the court documents state, we learned that Scout Executive Tom Cardiff allegedly received an internal memo alerting him that Merrey had been sending sexually themed texts to a young man he met on Facebook. Cardiff allegedly did not report Merrey to the police and took no meaningful steps to investigate his behavior; he just told him to stop and let him continue as a volunteer. Less than two months later, Merrey sexually abused James Doe on a scouting trip to North Carolina.” Rod Edmond, managing partner at the firm, stated, “Our firm is aggressively pursuing this case because we feel that our client and other child victims deserve a voice and an opportunity for justice."

Over the last five years, the public has learned that the Boy Scouts of America has long kept an extensive archive of secret documents that chronicle the history of child sexual abuse perpetrated by volunteer adult leaders as reported in the Washington Post. In 2012, the Oregon Supreme Court ordered the Scouts to make public—from 1959 through 1985—some of the so called “perversion files.” As the Los Angeles Times reported last year, the files revealed that “more than one third of abuse allegations never were reported to police.” Just last year, the Washington Post reported that the Boy Scouts settled a lawsuit in California to avoid having more recent perversion files made public. The revelations have led to other lawsuits filed across the country on behalf of victims of sexual abuse by adult volunteer leaders as reported in the Oregonian.

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BUNNIE JACKSON-RANSOM

Bill Atkins
Edmond, Lindsay & Hoffler, Attorneys at Law
since: 01/2012
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