Two lawsuits have been filed against the Portland Metro area's Boys & Girls Club. They claim a Club volunteer was allowed to re-register after sexually abusing one 5-year-old girl in 2010, and that he then abused a 10-year-old girl in 2011 before he was stopped. Attorney Steve Crew says he doesn't know if the Club had a screening process in place for volunteers, but he advises non-profits to be aware of the risks.
"That's one of the messages of this case. If you're going to give someone access to kids, whether you're hiring them as a teacher, a coach, or volunteering, you've got to have same safeguards in place," says Crew.
In this case, the alleged offender was a minor helping supervise summer programs. The suspect was 15 at the time of the first incident, 16 at the second. The plaintiffs are seeking $2.75 million each in damages.
A statement from the Boys and Girls Club of Portland expressed concern for the alleged victims, and promised to cooperate fully with the judicial process.