A Newton man has filed a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America in Sussex County for years of alleged sexual abuse by Scoutmaster Dennis Pegg in the 1970s.
According to his attorney Eric G. Kahn, motivational speaker Clark Fredericks, of Stillwater, filed the legal action in Sussex County Superior Court “to hold the Boy Scouts accountable for what they allowed to happen to him when he was a minor.”
“He suffered horrific sexual abuse at the hands of a predator who we believe abused other boys as well,” Kahn said.
The alleged abuse occurred between 1972 and 1978, when Fredericks was seven to 12 years old, according to the complaint.
On his web site, Fredericks said the alleged abuse has cost him much.
“I survived this ordeal, but only after a life of lost boundaries and deep rooted pain caused me to take actions that no sane person would consider,” he said. “I served time in state prison, got into a pilot therapy program and have learned that I am not alone.”
According to published reports, Fredericks spent five years in prison for the 2012 stabbing death of Pegg.
Pegg’s alleged repeated history of sexually abusing scouts, both before and after his alleged abuse of Fredericks, should have deemed him ineligible to hold a position with BSA, the complaint said.
Because Pegg’s prior abuse in scouting programs was known to BSA, the complaint alleges the organization “knowingly allowed, permitted or encouraged child abuse.”
In a statement, BSA said it cares deeply about and apologizes to minors who were abused during their time in the organization.
“We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our program to abuse innocent children,” BSA said. “We believe victims, we support them, we pay for counseling by a provider of their choice and we encourage them to come forward.”
The organization said it could not comment further due to the pending litigation.
In addition to unspecified monetary damages, Fredericks’ suit seeks to ensure “that something like this, institutional sexual abuse involving young children, never happens again,” Kahn said.
It was not immediately clear who is representing the Boy Scouts of America in Sussex County.