LDS Church Is Targeted In Lawsuit

Salt Lake Tribune/May 31, 2002

Portland, Ore. -- A Portland, Ore., man has sued the LDS Church and the Boy Scouts of America, alleging he was sexually abused during his youth by a church member who was also his scoutmaster.

The lawsuit was announced Thursday by attorney Dayna Christian, who is representing the plaintiff, identified in court papers only by the initials M.D.

The lawsuit, filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, holds The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Scouts as defendants. The plaintiff in the suit alleges that church elder James Hogan forced him to engage in various sexual acts between 1968 and 1973, when "M.D." was 8 to 13 years old. Hogan was then an elder of the Portland 12th ward, which was housed in a Portland chapel.

Hogan, 65, is not named as a defendant in the case.

According to the lawsuit, in 1988 and 1989 Hogan pleaded guilty to two felony child abuse charges and in 1990 settled a civil suit involving one of those victims and a third boy.

Hogan stopped working with Boy Scouts in 1984 and was excommunicated from the LDS Church in 1989, Christian said.

The suit seeks at least $10 million in damages to be determined, and asks for a jury trial.

Christian said one allegation claims Hogan was acting as an employee or servant of both organizations.

Another claims the church breached or neglected its duty to protect the plaintiff from Hogan, whom it knew to be a pedophile.

A lawsuit filed in Portland in January seeks more than $120 million from the LDS Church for 12 victims it says were molested as children by a church elder in the 1970s and 1980s.

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