Sadly, just like other organizations that were created, and are intended, to benefit our youth, such as the Boys Scouts of America and the YMCA & YWCA, disturbing allegations of child sexual abuse are also plaguing the Boys & Girls Club of America. The national organization said in a statement, “Crimes of abuse run counter to everything our organization stands for, and it is completely unacceptable that even one child was hurt at a Club.”
The Boys & Girls Club has faced both criminal and civil lawsuits with allegations that its staff, volunteers, and members have sexually abused children in its programs. Hearst Connecticut Media conducted a six-month investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse connected to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. They found that 280 people in 31 states said that they were sexually abused as children by either employees, volunteers and/or other members of the organization. The alleged victims of the Hearst Connecticut Media investigation contend that the Boys & Girls Club did not do enough to protect the children in their care.
A former athletic director of the Sonoma Valley Boys & Girls Club, Paul Dwayne Kilgore, was sentenced in 2018, to 150 years-to-life in prison for molesting three boys. The prosecutors said that the molestations of the boys occurred over a period of six years during trips to an arcade, local pools, and visits by the boys to Kilgore’s house.
One of his victims, a fifth-grade boy, had attempted to report the sexual abuse he experienced in both 2007 and 2010. Unfortunately, according to the lawsuit, the Sonoma Valley Boys & Girls Club employees ignored the allegations and did not report them to the police. Then, in 2012 it was found out by leadership that Kilgore had slept naked with children during an overnight trip. However, the misconduct was not reported to the police once again. After club leadership barred staff from interacting with club members outside of club hours or off campus, Kilgore voluntarily resigned in 2013 after a decade of being the athletic director there. Afterwards, in 2014, he briefly worked at the Boys & Girls Club of Petaluma’s after-school program.
Kilgore was convicted of six counts of child molestation. Unfortunately, due to the statute of limitations, four additional witnesses that Kilgore had molested were not able to prosecute him for their incidents, but they did testify against him in the trial. Three of the uncharged victims were from San Bruno where Kilgore had previously worked as a coach associated with the San Bruno Rec Center and St. Robert’s Catholic School, before his arrival at Sonoma County. And, according to the Healdsburg police who helped investigate the allegations, victims reported incidents all the way back from the late 1970s through 2016.
On July 2, a lawsuit was filed claiming that in the 1970s, a teenage counselor at the Greenwich Boys’ Club, Andrew Atkinson, sexually abused a child around 10 times between 1975 and 1976. The victim shared that the assaults and rapes occurred in the club’s locker room and once on a field trip to a theme park. More sexual abuse allegations have been previously filed in three other lawsuits, where six men accuse Atkinson of sexually abusing them between 1976 to 1984. The victims state that at least three adult employees knew of the abuse and just ignored it, including the director of the club. The lawsuits are seeking damages for negligence from the now-Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich.
A mentor and supervisor at the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester, James C., has also had allegations of abuse brought against him. The CT Post reports that the lawsuit was filed by four male plaintiffs that are claiming they were sexually abused in the 1980s and early 1990s. When the abuse occurred, the victims ranged in age from 10 years old to teenagers.
The complaint states that James engaged in repeated abuse and exploitation of minors, yet the organization failed to address concerns and allowed a predator to continue victimizing children for years. The lawsuit also described the defendant’s “grooming behaviors”. Which included: giving gifts, candy, treats, and even alcohol; and providing special attention to his intended victims. The lawsuit stated, “These warning signs, grooming behaviors, inappropriate time spent alone with Plaintiffs and not respecting boundaries with children were ignored by (the Boys & Girls Club), thus, creating the opportunity for abuse, resulting in failures to enforce proper boundaries and, instead, allowing Collins access to abuse children.”
Dr. Reginald Archibald used his status as a medical doctor to volunteer for decades at summer camps and Boys Clubs in the Lower Hudson Valley and New York City. He allegedly used Boys & Girls Club pools to hunt for his victims. The now-deceased Archibald, was previously a doctor of Endocrinology at Rockefeller University Hospital, and has been accused of abusing thousands of his patients over the course of 30 years.
He had also maintained an office at the Madison Square Boys Club where the boys were told that they must submit to physical exams each year as a condition to using the swimming pool. He volunteered there from at least 1942 to 1967 and often referred the children to participate in his studies at the University.
A lawsuit filed against the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club claims that the administration ignored or failed to act on the abuse that occurred at its facility. It states that the Club displayed negligence in failing to shield its members from the abusive actions of employees and workers for years. And, specifically, that the Madison Square Boys Club afforded easy access to the young boys by providing Dr. Reginald Archibald with an office to perform “medical” exams.
Two boys sexually abused a 10-year-old girl in the summer of 2018 at the St. Albans Boys & Girls Club in West Virginia. According to the lawsuit, the boys dragged the girl from an outdoor playground into a hidden stairwell where they forced her to perform oral sex on one of the boys while the other held her in place. According to court records, the girl was then humiliated by a club staff member who allegedly called her to the front of a room full of children and loudly asked her whether she had put a male camper’s “thing in her mouth.”
If you or a loved one is a victim of the sexual abuse perpetrated by an employee, volunteer or member of the Boys & Girls Club, even if the abuse or assault occurred years or even decades ago, please contact Greg Jones Law at 855-Jones-Law (855-566-3752) or contact us online.