On Wednesday, a former Boy Scout leader pleaded guilty in Lehigh County Court to the indecent assault of three scouts. 51-year-old Stephen Piller was arrested about a year ago based on allegations that he sexually assaulted the three victims over the course of several years at his home and at the Camp Trexler Boy Scout retreat in Monroe County.
The first victim told investigators that he joined the scouts at 12 years old. He met Piller through the organization and says that two years later Piller allegedly made sexual advances and touched him inappropriately.
The second victim said he met Piller through the Boy Scouts when he was 14 and that Piller inappropriately touched and photographed him.
The third victim said he met Piller through the Boy Scouts and that he was sexually assaulted as a minor over the course of “multiple years.”
Brian Kent is an experienced sexual abuse survivor lawyer for students sexually abused by boy scout leaders. We’ve asked him to share some thoughts on how filing a lawsuit can help survivors find justice.
Youth organizations can be immensely powerful influences in our community. When run right, these organizations help our young people develop new skills, make new friends, and become more productive members of their communities. Unfortunately, sexual predators are often attracted to these types of organizations, as they see their positions of authority as a means to sexually abuse innocent victims.
When a child is abused by a member of a youth organization like the Boy Scouts, it’s crucial to see the perpetrator criminally prosecuted. However, the criminal justice system often fails to do so, and even when a conviction is made, these courts often fail to directly compensate the victims. Fortunately, filing a civil lawsuit can help victims recover financial compensation and hold these organizations liable if their negligence allowed the abuse to occur.
If your family has recently been affected by sexual abuse and you’re curious about your legal options, you can learn more by speaking with an experienced sexual abuse victims lawyer.