Another suit filed against Boy Scouts, citing Burnsville leader

A man claiming he was abused by former scoutmaster Peter Stibal filed a civil suit Tuesday against the Boy Scouts of America, Northern Star Council and the church that sponsored the troop.

Stibal was the scoutmaster of a Burnsville Boy Scout Troop from around 2003 to 2009. In 2011, he was sentenced to 14 years in prison and about seven years of conditional release, for abusing scouts. Two other victims who filed civil suits naming Stibal settled out of court.

The newest suit, filed in Ramsey County District Court Tuesday on behalf of an unnamed 23-year-old victim, says the former scout was abused between 2002 and 2005, when he was 12 to 15 years old.

Jeff Anderson, the attorney for the plaintiff, said the victim had experienced about a dozen incidents of abuse by Stibal.

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In one of the previous civil cases, a judge ordered the Boy Scouts release more of its records of adult volunteers suspected of sexual abuse.

Anderson said those records are proof that the Boy Scouts of America had knowledge that sexual predators had previously infiltrated scouting, and children and families should've been warned of that risk.

"The case is really about the systemic failures and conscious choices of the Boy Scouts of America to withhold information and hide it from those that needed to know," he said.

Kent York, the spokesman for Northern Star Council, said Stibal's actions were the antithesis of what the Boy Scouts represent.

He said the organization has taken many steps to ensure the safety of children who participate in scouting, including screening volunteers, extensive training for youth members, parents and leaders, and requiring at least two adults at all activities.

"Scouting is a safe place for kids," York said. "Safety is a top priority. We have procedures and programs in place to help keep kids safe and that's something we refine and work on all the time."

The suit filed Tuesday also names River Hills United Methodist Church.