5 women sue Boy Scouts over 1970s Mont. sex abuse

September 7, 2011 - 1:45 PM

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Five women say the Boy Scouts should be held responsible for a scout leader who sexually abused them decades ago in a co-ed children's program.

They are suing the Boy Scouts of America and the scouts' Montana Council, saying the organization failed to properly oversee William H. Leininger Jr. when he headed Kalispell's Explorer Scouts program in the early 1970s.

Leininger was convicted of the girls' abuse in 1976 and again in a separate abuse case in 1982. He died in 2002 at age 80.

The women, now in their 50s, filed their lawsuit Wednesday in Cascade County District Court. They say Leininger repeatedly abused them while demonstrating how to change bandages during first-aid training.

Montana Council director Gordon Rubard says he can't comment on the specifics of the case.