Another former boy scout files abuse lawsuit – over 100 more could follow

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Another lawsuit has been filed against the Boy Scouts of America over alleged abuse by a Scout leader – and his attorneys think at least "a hundred more" lawsuits from Minnesota will follow.

Minneapolis-based Noaker Law Firm filed a complaint Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court against the BSA and the Northern Star Council Boy Scouts of America relating to sexual abuse a former scout suffered at the hands of Scout Leader Leland Opalinski.

Opalinski, who died in 2014, was the leader of Troop 12 in St. Paul. He is the same leader said to have abused Ramsey County Commissioner Jim McDonough.

McDonough last month announced he was filing a similar lawsuit against the BSA and Northstar Council, which was followed last week by two more former scouts who launched legal action – one of whom was also abused by Opalinski.

The victim in the latest lawsuit has chosen not to identify themselves and are referred to as "John Doe 151."

According to a media release from Noaker, Doe 151 says he was sexually abused by Opalinski between 1966 and 1971 when he was 12 to 16 years of ages, with the abuse occurring in Scout meetings, events and outings in and around St. Paul.

"Tragically, we often see many children violated by the same perpetrator," Attorney Patrick Noaker said.

Noaker Law, which has also filed lawsuits on behalf of victims allegedly abused by clergy with St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese, has teamed up to represent Boy Scout abuse survivors with two Portland attorneys (Steve Crew and Peter Janci) ahead of the May 2016 deadline to file claims against the BSA.

"We concluded that there were likely a hundred or more victims in Minnesota who may come forward and file claims before Minnesota's deadline next year," Janci said.

McDonough: 'Doe 151 deserves justice'

McDonough, who took the unusual step of identifying himself as a victim of abuse last month, said he hopes to serve as an example to others.

"If my example coming forward has liberated even one child living his life in shame and self-blame, it’s all worth it," he said in the Noaker news release. "Doe 151 deserves answers, and he deserves justice."

One of the key aspects of the lawsuit filed on behalf of the two former scouts from Minnesota last week is that it includes a call for the release of files the BSA keeps on sex abuse allegations made against its scout leaders – dubbed the "perversion files."

The BSA has previously released files dating up to 1985 following a 2012 ruling in Oregon, now attorneys want the BSA to release details of allegations made since 1985.

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