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15Nov/12Off

Child Abuse Has Lasting Consequences

Child abuse is one of the most widely under-reported crimes in America. Unfortunately, child abuse can occur at any time and without warning. In some cases, the victims of child abuse can collect compensation for all their pain and suffering.

A University of Pittsburgh educator and AIDS researcher who was the subject of a recent news story about alleged sexual abuse in the Boy Scout troop he led in the mid-1970s has died six weeks after suffering a massive stroke.

English: Life Scout in the Boy Scouts of America

English: Life Scout in the Boy Scouts of America (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“It was with great sadness that we announce the passing of Rodger L. Beatty,” read a Facebook message his family posted late Monday. Beatty, 66, had been hospitalized or in hospice care since a Sept. 28 stroke left him largely unable to communicate.

His friends and family said they were stunned by allegations, detailed Oct. 21 in The Times, that Beatty abused five boys in the troop he led in Newport, Pa., more than three decades ago. The boys, all 13 or 14 at the time, submitted handwritten accounts describing repeated molestations by Beatty at his house and on camping trips.

The statements, which are included in the Boy Scouts of America’s “ineligible volunteer” file barring Beatty from Scouting in 1976, were corroborated in recent interviews with the newspaper by two of the former Scouts, Carl Maxwell Jr. and Mike Kunkel, both now 50. Two of the other former Scouts are dead and a third could not be reached.

The Times attempted to contact Beatty in early September, more than two weeks before he fell ill. He did not respond to repeated email and phone messages.

Beatty, then a county drug and alcohol counselor, resigned the day the accusations surfaced and abruptly left town, citing increased job demands. He was among hundreds of suspected molesters, many of whom were respected in their communities, who were never reported to authorities by the Scouts, according to The Times’ review of 1,900 of the organization’s confidential files.

Beatty went on to earn a graduate degree in community psychology from Penn State University and a doctorate in social work from the University of Pittsburgh, according to a 2011 resume and his University of Pittsburgh biography.

He worked for more than three decades in public health programs, some tailored to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and had held several jobs with the Pennsylvania Department of Health. In 1998, he became an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh in the Graduate School of Public Health’s department of infectious diseases and microbiology.

If a loved one was the victim of child abuse that was caused by negligence, it is important that you contact a committed and dedicated personal injury lawyer to help you decide if you should file a lawsuit. A competent and reputable injury lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.

18Oct/12Off

A Long-Standing Pattern Of Abuse

English: Life Scout in the Boy Scouts of America

English: Life Scout in the Boy Scouts of America (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Boy Scouts of America is one of the country’s most revered youth organizations. Since its inception in 1910, the Boy Scouts have trained boys to be responsible citizens and pillars of their community. The Boy Scouts also offer men the opportunity to mentor boys. Unfortunately, some of these men have cruel intentions.

Thousands of files documenting years of sexual abuse have been released to the public. Many of these files show how men took advantage of young boys.

As the Boy Scouts have said, the files related to the thousands of men expelled from the organization on suspicion of molesting children suggest no single profile of a predator.

The men came from all walks of life — teachers and plumbers, doctors and bus drivers, politicians and policemen. They ranged in age from teens to senior citizens and came from troops in every state.

But a close look at nearly 1,900 confidential files opened between 1970 and 1991 revealed a pattern: Many suspected molesters engaged in what psychologists today call “grooming behavior,” a gradual seduction in which predators lavish children with attention, favors and gifts.

In hundreds of cases, Scout leaders allowed the boys to drive cars, drink alcohol or look at pornography. They gradually tested physical boundaries during skinny dipping, group showers, sleepovers and one-on-one activities.

The confidential files, kept by the Scouts for nearly 100 years, were intended to permanently bar suspected molesters from the organization.

The dossiers — which included biographical data, legal records, Scouting correspondence, boys’ accounts of alleged abuse and media reports — represent all surviving files kept by the Scouts as of January 2005. The Scouts have destroyed an unknown number of files over the years.

Hundreds of files from the 1960s to the 1980s are set to be released Thursday by order of the Oregon Supreme Court, giving the public its first broad view of the documents.

The full case files showed that nearly all the cases arose from situations in which troop leaders were alone with boys — a practice the Boy Scouts has long discouraged and officially prohibited since 1987. At least a quarter of the cases involved contact with boys outside of official Scouting activities, at scoutmasters’ homes for instance, or on nonsanctioned camping trips.

The grooming process and rule-breaking often ensured the boys’ silence, allowing some men to serially abuse boys over a span of years before being caught.

If you suspect that your child was a victim of abuse, it is important that you contact a committed and dedicated personal injury lawyer to help you decide if you should file a lawsuit. A competent and reputable injury lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.