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Lawsuit alleges sexual assault at Boy Scout camp

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January 15, 1997
Web posted at: 3:00 p.m. EST

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The parents of four young boys have filed a $72 million lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America, claiming the organization failed to protect their children against sexual assaults by two older boys at a Boy Scout camp.

The lawsuit claims that two 13-year-old boys at Camp Keowa in upstate Narrowsburg lured the younger boys, ages 6 to 10, into a cabin on August 9, 1996. There, they sodomized the younger boys with a broomstick, the lawsuit claims.

Camp Keowa

"One at a time, these little boys were lured into these camp cabins with the promise that they would have a chance to win a dollar in an arm wrestling match," said Michael Feldman, an attorney for the boys' families.

Feldman said the Boy Scouts were negligent in their supervision of the campers.

Denise Palmer and Mary Riley, two of the parents of the four victims, said they were outraged.


"My son could not sleep," Palmer said. "He screams a lot for me, is afraid to go places with out me."

Riley's son was hospitalized for two weeks with internal injuries.

Boy Scout spokesman Gary Laermer would not comment on the case.

"We have children accusing other children and we're being very careful," he said. "We will let the legal process take its due course."

The two 13-year-old boys were arrested in the case, according to September article in the Middletown Times Herald Record. The outcome of the case was unclear.

A Boy Scout spokesman said that staff levels at Keowa would remain the same for the upcoming summer.

Correspondent Peg Tyre contributed to this report.


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