Boys and Girls Club facing lawsuits over sex abuse cases - KPTV - FOX 12

Boys and Girls Club facing lawsuits over sex abuse cases

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Portland is facing two lawsuits, accusing the organization of failing to protect children from sexual abuse by a volunteer.

Lawyers with the firm O'Donnell, Clark and Crew filed the suits Wednesday morning.

In 2010, Attorney Steve Crew said a 5-year-old-girl attending club activities at a school in Forest Grove was fondled and abused by a 15-year-old volunteer.

Police were notified, but it did not go to court then, and Crew said the victim's family was assured that the boy would be banned from future involvement with the Boys and Girls Club.

But one year later, Crew said the same teen was allowed to volunteer again, this time at the club location in Hillsboro.

That's where Crew said the teen sexually abused two more girls, both 10 years old.

"Obviously, it's disturbing that an institution of trust, such as the Boys and Girls Club, could have an incident like this in 2010 and then the same perpetrator, somehow, for some reason got through the system," Crew said.

Leaders with the Boys and Girls Club of the Portland metro area said they won't comment on the lawsuit now, but they released this statement:

"First and foremost, we want to express our concern for the alleged victims, as the safety and well-being of the young people we serve has always been, and remains, our top priority.

As with any situation involving the well-being of the young people served by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Portland, we will cooperate fully with the judicial process."

The attorneys of O'Donnell, Clark and Crew said they know of three victims in this case.

They are representing two of them and seeking $2.75 million for each.

The Boys and Girls Club has 30 days to respond to the lawsuit.

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