Boy Scout victim speaks - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Boy Scout victim speaks


A former Boy Scout is speaking out about the lawsuit he's filed against the Boy Scouts of America.

This is the second lawsuit filed in two years, claiming the Coastal Georgia Council knew of possibly sexual misconduct by the same volunteer leader but failed to take action to protect the young boys under their watch.

Richard Merrey is now serving more than 50 years behind bars for sexually abusing minors - including when he volunteered for Troop 691 in Effingham County between 2006 and 2011.

"It’s a lifelong thing. It's not over and I don't know if it ever will be,” said the victim.

His abuser may be behind bars, but the damage is already done. This victim - who is now an adult - is filing a lawsuit under a fake name to protect his identity since the abuse happened when he was a Boy Scout in Effingham County.

Merrey is serving more than 50 years for sexually assaulting multiple victims in and around the Coastal Empire.

"I think he got was coming to him, you know he is now serving time for his crime. But it's more than that,” said the victim.

He wishes the Boy Scouts would have done more to protect the handful of other scouts who were abused.

His attorney, Bill Atkins, says the Coastal Georgia Council was negligent because they had received a formal complaint from a parent who said Merrey had been sending inappropriate and sexually themed text messages to her son.

That complaint was sent directly to local scout executive Tom Cardiff, but according to the lawsuit, Merrey was allowed to continue to work as a volunteer.

"And they didn't do anything, and as a result, my client was abused again,” said Atkins.

Abuse that went on for at least a year, including during a Boy Scout ski trip in 2010 when Merrey tried to perform explicit sexual acts on the victim.

It wasn't long after that Merrey was arrested and confessed the abuse. But for victims like James Doe, that's not good enough, especially when he dedicated his entire childhood to organization that's supposed to be setting the example.

"You know I recognize the Boy Scouts for what it is, what it can be and the possibility for what it can do for you but this is a huge problem,” said the victim.

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