Last Updated: 7/13/2020
Lawyer Commentary: In the second part of this story, sex abuse victim lawyer Laurence Banville discusses the legal rights of sex abuse victims in the Girl Scouts and other youth organizations.
A leader with the Girl Scouts of Western New York has been arrested on sex crime charges for allegedly sexually abusing two girls.
Marty Walton has been charged with two counts of first-degree sexual abuse and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. The alleged victims are two girls, ages eight and nine.
Walton’s wife Shari was also arrested and charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child regarding the same two girls. She was arraigned and released.
Marty Walton was virtually arraigned on Friday afternoon, May 29. He is being held on $20,000 bail.
Amherst Police are continuing to investigate this case. It is not clear at this time if the two girls were members of the Girl Scouts.
A statement from the Girl Scouts is expected sometime Saturday.
Attorney contributor Laurence Banville represents sex abuse victims and their families, helping them fight for answers, support, and justice. Laurence has offered to share some information on the legal rights of sex abuse victims in the Girl Scouts:
Youth organizations like the Girl Scouts provided many positive services to the community. However, in any youth organization, it’s crucial to make sure that the children within the organization are safe. Sadly, sometimes sexual predators target these organizations, where they exploit their positions of trust to commit heinous crimes against children.
When a leader in a group like the Girl Scouts is charged with sexual abuse, we should investigate the accused as well as the organization. Some cases of sex abuse in youth organizations are preventable and happen partly due to negligence by the organization – such as ignoring past complaints of inappropriate behavior by the leader.
In cases that involve negligence, Girl Scout sex abuse victims and their families may have grounds for a lawsuit.
You can learn more about your legal options as a victim of Girl Scouts sex abuse in a free consultation with one of our dedicated sex abuse victim lawyers.