An Idaho Supreme Court decision Monday morning cleared the way for a federal lawsuit filed against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Boy Scouts of America.
In 2013, 16 men said they were molested by a Boy Scout leader in the 1970s and 1980s. They said both the LDS church and the Boy Scouts knew the leader was a danger.
The plaintiff’s claim it is a fraud case, saying the church and Boy Scouts told them the man who abused them was “a great guy” and “a wonderful man.”
A key element to the plaintiff’s case is when they discovered the fraud.
The limitations on fraud in three years after the fraud is discovered, whereas the statute of limitations on personal injury is two years in Idaho.
The Idaho Supreme Court ruled it is not up to them to decide if this is fraud of personal injury; instead it is up to a jury. The legal distinction makes a major difference because of the statute of limitations.
"Whether or not this scout leader hurt these boys or molested these boys is not as important as whether or not the church and the Boy Scouts of America had knowledge that he had that propensity," said Greg Skordas, legal analyst.
LDS Church spokesperson Dale Jones released the following statement:
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has zero tolerance for abuse of any kind, and works diligently to prevent abuse and provide support and assistance to victims of abuse. As a society, we’ve learned a great deal about abuse in the decades since these cases, and made large strides in recognizing and preventing this societal plague. Regarding this particular case, it’s difficult to provide information, as the cases are near 30-40 years old, many involved are now dead, and nearly half of the claims do not involve the Church or Church sponsored scout troops."