Chicago Lawyers File Boy Scout Sex Abuse Case
Earlier today, Chicago lawyers Hurley McKenna & Mertz filed a lawsuit in Winnebago County, Illinois against the Boy Scouts of America alleging that Charles “Chuck” Bickerstaff, a long-time paid senior district executive with the Rockford-based Blackhawk Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, sexually abused a Boy Scout over a ten-month period in 2006.
Bickerstaff, 56, is now in jail in Dixon, Illinois on $4 million bond awaiting trial on multiple counts of child molestation involving at least two victims. One of the victims was known to be younger than 13 years old when the abuse occurred.
Police have recovered six diaries of 120 pages in length from Bickerstaff’s home which describe in detail his sexual relationships with underage boys dating back to at least 1989.
The victim was a member of the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts for most of his childhood who “looked (to Bickerstaff) as an authority figure,” the lawsuit says. Using the power and trust of his position, the suit says, Bickerstaff’ routinely spent time alone with (the boy) outside of Scout events. The BSA staffer “enticed, induced, directed, coerced, and forced” the child “to engage in deviant sexual acts with him.” The crimes took place on a Scout trip to Lansing, Michigan, at Bickerstaff’s home, and “other locations.”
According to the suit, the BSA “knew or should have known” that Bickerstaff was dangerous, failed to adequately investigate allegations of misconduct involving Bickerstaff and failed to adequately supervise Bickerstaff’s activities. The suit also alleges that the BSA knew for decades that sexual predators “had infiltrated scouting,” but its leadership “failed to inform Scouts’ parents of that fact.”