News Alert (6/23/21): This week the State of Maine changed the statute of limitations for those born before August 11, 1970, who were sexually abused as children, allowing them to pursue civil claims against their abuser.
- Read editorial: “Maine took a small step to empower survivors of child sex abuse”
- Read news article: “Maine lists barrier to bringing child sex abuse suits”
For a long period of time, the Boy Scouts of America has been aware of a problem with sexual abuse. The organization kept files on scout leaders and volunteers and maintained a list of hundreds of people affiliated with the organization that had faced allegations of sexually abusing Boy Scouts. Although the files are by no means comprehensive, they display a chronic problem within the organization that led to countless young children being victimized over the years.
If you were the victim of sexual abuse while participating in the Boy Scouts of America don’t wait, the attorneys at Berman & Simmons have the knowledge and experience to help navigate your claim. In fact, we’ve presented best practices at a national legal convention, teaching other lawyers how to find insurance coverage for victims of sexual abuse and win cases.
Working with You to Hold Sexual Abusers Accountable
Sexual abuse claims present a web of emotional and psychological challenges. We understand how hard it can be to come forward as a survivor of childhood sexual assault. Braving cultural stigma, reliving past trauma, and facing those responsible for your pain is difficult and takes immense courage. We also realize aggressive pursuit of sexual abuse claims and the fact-intensive nature of these cases can trigger painful memories and feelings.
Discovering the heinous nature of such conduct, how and when it comes to light, and the impact it has had on your life requires us to maintain a delicate balance of sensitivity and diligence. We’re mindful of these issues and prepared to empower you with a voice to share your story, while we fight for your rights.
Boy Scouts of America Knew This Was Happening
The Boy Scouts of America maintained records on individuals associated with the organization that had been accused of sexual abuse. Some of these claims were ultimately substantiated in court. Between 1965 and 1985, the Boy Scouts of America maintained files on 19 individuals from Maine or New Hampshire that had received complaints or allegations of sexual abuse. These “Perversion Files” can be seen below.
Berman & Simmons makes no suggestion that the allegations in all of these files are in every case true. However, the incidents outlined in the documents below do highlight the organization’s knowledge of accusations of sexual abuse and the Boy Scouts of America’s response to some of these specific claims.
BSA Sex Abuse Complaints in Maine
Harold E. Bailey – Bucksport, ME
View Complaint (4/25/1978)
William Boyd Brown – Westbrook, ME
View Complaint (3/25/1977)
David J. Brunette – Kittery, ME
View Complaint (8/4/1983)
Alfred J. Conrad – Augusta, ME
View Complaint (7/26/1984)
Fred A. Cram – Casco, ME
View Complaint (3/1/1984)
Hazen James Currier – Lebanon, ME
View Complaint (1/30/1981)
Gene Vincent Graves – Mara Hill, ME
View Complaint (7/8/1964)
Frederick Maitland – Cumberland, ME
View Complaint (4/10/1983)
Sex Abuse Complaints in New Hampshire
Robert Fredrick Bishop – Nashua, NH
View Complaint (6/28/1973)
Alfred Francis Cote – Danville, NH
View Complaint (11/27/1984)
Fred Cote – Danville, NH
View Complaint (11/27/1984)
Dionne Wilfrid – Manchester, NH
View Complaint (2/16/1961)
Doiron Wilfred Donat – Manchester, NH
View Complaint (2/16/1961)
Richard A. Dubois – Manchester, NH
View Complaint (4/20/1982)
Robert Litteer – Laconia, NH
View Complaint (10/1/1985)
Alfred J. Oxton – Gorham, NH
View Complaint (8/31/1979)
William G. Ricker – Claremont, NH
View Complaint (7/16/1970)
Robert John Sherman – North Woodstock, NH
View Complaint (5/8/1983)
Robert F. Wood – Plaistow, NH
View Complaint (3/3/1983)
Forming the Best Team to Stand by Your Side
We are committed to forming the best team to represent you and several lawyers from our firm may work together on your case. On select cases, Berman & Simmons may co-counsel with nationally-recognized lawyers who also specialize in sex abuse cases. We are licensed in several states where you may need to bring your claim, and can easily form a team with our network of lawyers across the county to file claims in any state, representing you through “pro-hac vice” admission if needed.
As our client, you don’t have to go through any of this alone. Together, we can help you take on the most powerful.
Experienced Attorneys Ready to Help
Berman & Simmons’ lawyers are widely acknowledged as the best personal injury lawyers in Maine. But for us, that it is not enough. With our unique resources and talent, we strive to be among the very best in the country. We have worked hard to build a team of lawyers that are ready to defend you.
Every day our lawyers fight on behalf of those who cannot win alone. We make it our goal to bring justice to those who need it most, and we will stop at nothing to achieve it.
Our staff and attorneys are committed to listening to your story and providing the support you need. We will help you by providing solutions, legal advice, and closure.
Ask Questions. We Have Answers.
Get Peace of Mind
It never hurts to consult an attorney regardless of whether you decide to move forward.
We understand that recalling and discussing the details of your abuse can be extremely difficult and will work with you to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible
The lawyers of Berman & Simmons will advise you of your rights and advocate on your behalf
Our attorneys will make sure everything is completely confidential and nothing moves forward unless you’re ready to pursue legal action
Paralysis due to mismanagement of
Catastrophic injuries in a head-on car accident
Wrongful death case involving negligent
Plaintiff Rear Ended by
Delay in diagnosis and treatment of cancer
Significant Head Injury Car Accident
Is there a statute of limitations for sex abuse cases?
Most of the time yes. Maine changed its laws in the early 1990s to eliminate the statute of limitations for minors who were sexually abused. Your case is not over just because you didn’t take action right after the incident; it takes many survivors years to come forward. We are here to support you when you are ready.
Does it matter if I didn’t tell anybody about the sex abuse?
No, it’s okay if you didn’t report the sex abuse when it occurred. It takes courage to come forward and many survivors are too afraid or confused to do so at the time of the abuse. We are honored that you would confide in us and we will support and listen to your story now, whether or not you have told anyone else. We strive to earn your trust and we will.
Our lawyers are trained to handle your case with discretion and sensitivity to ensure you feel comfortable sharing details of your experience, no matter how long ago it was. It’s important that you share your story and we will help you through that process.
I’ve been sexually abused. Will people believe me?
Yes, we will help tell your story in the most believable, persuasive way. You may have been dismissed or ignored in the past or people may not have believed you. From our first phone call, we will always believe you and we will take the time to advocate on your behalf to ensure others believe you too.
Can you help me make sure this happens to no one else?
Yes, we will help you make your claim and highlight what you experienced so it doesn’t happen again. Being brave enough to come forward is the first step towards making sure the people and institutions responsible for the abuse are exposed and held accountable. While we cannot end sexual abuse altogether, with your help in bringing a claim, we can make our communities safer.
Can I trust you?
Yes, but we want to earn your trust. It all starts with a phone call. From there you can get to know our lawyers and decide for yourself if we are the people you want to trust with your story. We realize this situation is very difficult for you to face. Starting with our first conversation and throughout our relationship with you, everything you tell us is confidential and you don’t have to tell us anything you don’t want to.
Will I have to testify against the person who sexually abused me?
Maybe. Oftentimes you don’t have to testify, but if you choose to, we will make sure you’re well prepared. Whether you’re facing a sexual predator or an institution that failed to protect you, we will help you to make the best choices and prepare you for all the scenarios and possible outcomes . We will respect your decision to testify or not and make sure you feel safe, regardless of what you decide.
Will I have to go to trial someday?
Maybe. A well-prepared case will often settle. However, trials are sometimes unavoidable if a case is to be resolved in the best interest of the survivor. Whether or not we go to trial, we will be with you every step of the way from our first meeting to the final resolution of the case. We know how important this is in your life and will not stop until we’ve done everything in our power to help you.
Will I have to face the person who sexually abused me?
Most likely not. Most cases don’t require the survivor to testify, but if yours does, our lawyers will ensure that you are fully prepared and feel safe during the process. If you are not required to testify, or a settlement is reached before going to trial, we will do everything in our power to make sure you don’t have to face the accused if you do not want to.
What if I want a female lawyer?
We have both male and female lawyers who handle sex abuse cases and they often work together on larger cases. If you have a preference, let us know.
How much time do I have to file a BSA sex abuse claim?
The Boy Scouts of American (BSA) filed for bankruptcy protection in February, 2020 to stop individual lawsuits and create a compensation fund for men who were molested as youngsters decades ago by scoutmasters and other leaders. In May, it was announced that the deadline for survivors of child sex abuse to file a claim in the Boy Scouts of America bankruptcy case is November 16, 2020. If you were the victim of sexual abuse while participating in the Boy Scouts don’t wait. The attorneys at Berman & Simmons are here to help answer your questions and help navigate your claim.