For immediate release, December 15, 2016
Statement by Melanie Jula Sakoda 925-708-6175, firstname.lastname@example.org, board member of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
The facts about this case are easily available from court filings, news coverage and the attorneys involved. As advocates for children, and victims, we’re here today to talk about morality - specifically, the immoral, mean-spirited and possibly illegal defenses that Boy Scout officials are using to try to evade responsibility and intimidate victims.
Last year, a 17 year old sued Boy Scout officials for the repeated abuse he says he suffered six years earlier by assistant scoutmaster Dustin Hedrick. Now, in a disgusting and chilling legal maneuver, those Scout officials are essentially blaming the then-13 year old for his sexual victimization by a now-imprisoned predator.
In court, just like in sports, one can fight clean or fight dirty. The Scouts are fighting dirty. They should apologize, reverse course and discipline or demote the official or officials who approved this callous and cunning legal strategy.
In a legal filing, trying to get this entire case tossed out of court, Scout officials call Hedrick’s crimes against a 13 year old “a consensual, clandestine relationship” and that “part of” the victim “enjoyed the experience” because he had “confessed his sexuality” as gay.