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Nobleboro, ME - Lawsuits Filed Accusing Former Camp Counselor, Bill McCook, of Abusing Multiple Boys at Camp Kieve in the 1960s and 1970s

Nobleboro, ME - Lawsuits Filed Accusing Former Camp Counselor, Bill McCook, of Abusing Multiple Boys at Camp Kieve in the 1960s and 1970s
Published: February 27, 2024
By: Darla Medina
Last Updated on February 27, 2024

Former Maine Camp Counselor Accused of Child Sex Abuse in Two Lawsuits

According to News Center Maine, two lawsuits have been filed in Lincoln County Superior Court this month, alleging child sex abuse by a former employee of a prominent summer camp for boys. The lawsuits accuse Bill McCook, a former camp counselor, of engaging in sexual abuse dating back to the 1960s and 1970s. One of the complaints specifically claims that McCook abused a young boy at Camp Keive, located at 42 I42, Nobleboro, ME 04555, with the camp itself being named as a defendant in that case. The other civil action alleges that McCook molested another boy during an overnight camping trip unrelated to the camp.

The alleged victim in the first case, who wishes to remain anonymous, expressed his emotional turmoil and the burden of carrying a painful secret for decades. The man, now in his late 50s, stated, "I wanted him to know that I didn't forget, and I remembered. He traumatized me, and he hurt me." The plaintiff in this lawsuit claims to have been sexually abused multiple times by McCook during the mid-1970s when he was just 9 or 10 years old. The painful memories resurfaced when the alleged victim encountered McCook at a local grocery store many years later, prompting him to come forward.

The second lawsuit involves Michael Innis, who alleges that McCook sexually abused him during a summer stay at Camp Kieve for Boys in Nobleboro in 1969. Innis, a resident of Harpswell and a relative of McCook, filed the lawsuit against both McCook and the nonprofit organization KWE (Kieve Wavus Education), which operates the camp. Tim Kenlan, the attorney representing both victims, argues that KWE failed to take appropriate measures to prevent a known abuser from having access to children. An independent investigation conducted by KWE's board of trustees concluded that McCook was a serial predator who had sexually abused as many as 10 boys during the 1960s and 1970s. However, the report acknowledged that the camp did not sever ties with McCook in a timely manner.

In response to the allegations, KWE's board of trustees released a statement expressing their commitment to rectifying past mistakes and implementing stricter staff standards to prevent any inappropriate or harmful behavior. They have undertaken a thorough examination of their practices and are determined to protect the community from such incidents in the future.

The lawsuits were made possible by a 2021 Maine law that removed the time limits for victims of sexual abuse to seek justice in civil court. The plaintiffs hope that their cases will bring attention to the issue of child sex abuse and encourage other victims to come forward.

Dan Lipman Co Lawyer
Hi, I’m attorney Dan Lipman. I’m a lawyer here in Maine, and if you or a loved one were injured in an accident, I’d be happy to discuss your legal options in a free consultation.
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Sexual Abuse Lawyer Discusses Civil Case Options for Camp Abuse Victims

In light of shocking allegations of child sex abuse at a well-known summer camp, the need for legal guidance has become paramount for victims affected by camp sexual abuse. To elaborate on the potential avenues for legal recourse, we sat down with Maine sexual abuse attorney, Dan Lipman. Dan provided invaluable insights into the civil case options available to victims who have suffered abuse at the hands of a camp counselor.

Editor Darla Medina (DM):  Thank you for joining us, Dan.

Dan Lipman, Esq. (DL): Thank you for having me, Darla. It's crucial to address these distressing issues and provide guidance to victims seeking justice.

DM: Absolutely. With these allegations coming to light, could you explain what options victims typically have when it comes to pursuing civil cases against the individuals responsible?

DL: Certainly, Darla. Victims of child sex abuse, particularly those abused by a camp counselor, may have the option to file a civil lawsuit seeking compensation for the harm they have endured. Civil cases empower victims to hold the liable parties accountable for their actions and seek financial restitution for the physical, emotional, and psychological damages they have suffered.

DM: That's valuable information. Are there any specific legal avenues that victims can explore in cases like these?

DL: Victims can potentially pursue claims against both the individual abuser and any institutions or organizations that may bear responsibility for the abuse. In the case of the summer camp allegations, for instance, victims may be able to file lawsuits against the former camp counselor directly and also against the camp itself if there is evidence of negligence or failure to protect the children in their care.

DM: That's an important distinction to make. Could you elaborate on the potential grounds for holding the camp or other institutions accountable in such cases?

DL: Institutions can be held accountable if they were aware of the abuser's behavior or should have reasonably known about it, yet failed to take appropriate action to protect the children in their care. This could include inadequate background checks, lack of supervision, or failure to respond to reports of abuse. These factors, among others, can contribute to establishing negligence on the part of the institution, making them liable for the harm suffered by the victims.

DM: Thank you for clarifying that. For victims who may be considering taking legal action, what advice or support would you offer them during this challenging process?

DL: It's vital for victims to seek support from professionals experienced in handling cases of child abuse, such as skilled sexual abuse lawyers and therapists specializing in trauma recovery. These professionals can guide victims throughout the legal process, provide emotional support, and ensure that their rights are protected. It's important for victims to know that they are not alone and that there are resources available to help them navigate this difficult journey.

DM: Thank you for your valuable insights, Dan. This is undoubtedly a complex and sensitive matter that requires utmost care and attention. We appreciate your time shedding light on the legal aspects surrounding cases of child sex abuse.

DL: Thank you, Darla. It's been my pleasure to provide information on this crucial topic. I hope it assists victims in understanding their rights and options moving forward.

Sources:

News Center Maine

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About the Author
Darla Medina
About Darla Medina
Editor: Darla is a content writer with a focus on the legal field. She covers cases of sexual abuse, drunk driving, and preventable violent crime for the Legal Herald. Contact Darla: darla@eaglepeakmarketing.com This article was fact checked prior to publishing by this author to ensure compliance with our rigorous editorial standards. We will only use authoritative sources. Our values compel us to provide only trustworthy information. If you find an error, please contact us.
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