HELENA – Part of a civil lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America along with the organization’s Montana Council ended in a settlement Thursday.
Attorney Gilion Dumas, representing the plaintiffs in the case, told MTN on Thursday that mediation between three of the six women involved in the suit ended in a settlement for a confidential amount.
The mediation Thursday took place in Portland, where Dumas is located, and was for three of the six women suing the Boy Scouts. The trial date set for Nov. 27 in Cascade County District Court will not take place.
The judge in the case, Special Master Jeffrey Sherlock, split the case into two trials, Dumas said. She added that a trial date will be scheduled for the other three women not involved in this round of mediation.
Dumas said the women are pleased with the outcome of the settlement, but cannot comment on the proceedings.
The suit was filed by women who were raped by a Montana scout leader in the 1970s. All six women involved were minors, between the ages of 11 and 14, in an Explorer Scout Program in Kalispell when the abuse occurred between 1973 and 1975.
Originally filed in 2011, the civil suit claims the Boy Scouts and the organization’s Montana Council knew about the risks their scout leaders posed to young girls, based on reports created on other scout leaders who had been kicked out of the organization for sexually abusing children, and did not warn others.
The suit claims the scout leader, listed as William (Bill) Leininger, did not have a background check before he became a leader. The Boy Scouts’ Montana Council did not supervise units across Montana and did not select or supervise leaders chosen, including Leininger, according to court documents.
Leininger was convicted of raping five of the six women involved in this civil suit, along with at least one other woman in 1976 in Montana. He died in 2002.