Former Fircrest Boy Scout leader named in lawsuit

Staff writerAugust 29, 2013 

A Pierce County man convicted of sex crimes against children was named Thursday in a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America and former adult leaders, alleging that abuse occurred regularly in Washington state sites, including a Scout leader’s property in Eatonville.

Price Miller Jr., 66, is among 13 people accused of abuse — the largest number of such defendants in a case filed against the Boy Scouts, according to attorneys.

Attorneys said the case, filed in King County Superior Court, shows the Boy Scouts and its affiliated organizations such as churches and schools demonstrated negligence in failing to protect Scouts. Lawyers Tim Kosnoff and Dan Fasy represent more than 100 people nationwide who are suing the Boy Scouts.

“The details are tragic,” Fasy said in a statement. “This is a failure on a grand scheme that went on for too long and has affected many, many lives negatively.”

A spokesman for the Boy Scouts declined to comment on the case but said the organization deeply regrets occurrences of Scout abuse.

“Any instance of child victimization or abuse is intolerable and unacceptable,” spokesman Deron Smith said.

Among those named in the lawsuit are a scoutmaster accused of repeatedly abusing two boys, a camp cook accused of raping a boy and a business manager accused of abusing a boy in a tent. At least one of those accused denies the allegations and says he was out of the country when the alleged abuse happened.

The lawsuit focuses on incidents at Camp Brinkley, which was recently renamed Camp Edward and is in Snohomish. Case documents describe problems beginning around the late 1960s through 1992.

One of the parties in the case, identified only by his initials K.E., was a member of Troop 47 in Fircrest. It was sponsored by Fircrest United Methodist Church and Tacoma District Methodist Church, both of which are named in the lawsuit. Church officials declined to comment on the lawsuit at this time.

The man alleges he first was abused in March 2006 when he was 12 during a trip to Miller’s Eatonville property to prepare the land for future troop camping trips. Over the course of several months, the lawsuit alleges, Miller groped the boy several times and showed him pornographic magazines once.

The boy eventually told his grandmother about the abuse, and she filed a report with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. At least four boys eventually alleged Miller sexually assaulted them, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said Thursday.

Miller was convicted of rape of a child and child molestation. He was sentenced in 2008 to nine years, nine months in prison.

K.E.’s grandmother wrote a letter to the judge in 2006, describing the tears, nightmares and fear her grandson endured after the alleged abuse.

“I feel Mr. Miller is not sorry for what he’s done,” the grandmother wrote. “He got into Scouts where he could get at the kids.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653

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