A Rochester man is suing the Boy Scouts of America, alleging that a former scoutmaster sexually abused him from the age of 11 to 16.
In a lawsuit filed in Olmsted County District Court, Scott Hart, 48, contends that Scoutmaster Richard Hokanson molested him at least 200 times over a six-year period beginning in 1975.
Hokanson pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct in the early 1980s and was forced to go through psychiatric treatment.
Hart said he's been through a lot over the last three decades.
"A lot of therapy, a lot of counseling, a lot of psychiatry, a lot of anti depressants, a lot of pain and a lot of shame, a lot of marriage counseling," he said. "That about sums it up."
Hart was unable to sue the Boy Scouts until this year because previous state law required victims to file such suits before they turned 24.
In May, the Legislature changed that law. Hart's attorney, Jeff Anderson, has filed 17 lawsuits since the new Minnesota Child Victims Act took effect.
Boy Scouts officials declined to comment on the lawsuit, but released a statement acknowledging "there have been times when Scouts were abused."
The statement notes that the Boy Scouts now requires background checks for Scout leaders and its current policy is to report suspected abuse directly to police.