$100 Million Judgment In Boy Scout Sexual Abuse Case In Kansas City

Mar 5, 2017

A sign at the 16th Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri.
Credit Danny Wood / KCUR 89.3

An attorney for a now 36-year-old Kansas City man hopes he can persuade prosecutors to file criminal charges against a former Boy Scout leader who was the subject of a $100 million civil judgment.

Last week, a Jackson County judge ruled in a civil case that the victim, identified only as “John Doe,” had been abused by his former Scout leader, Scott Alan Bradshaw.

The transcript of that case is expected to become public Monday when the plaintiff’s attorney, Randall Rhodes, offers it to Jackson County District Attorney Jean Peters Baker and the U.S. attorney in Kansas City.  

“We are hopeful that this civil verdict will inspire the authorities at either the state or the federal level to investigate pursuing charges against Mr. Bradshaw and put him where he belongs, which is of course in prison,” Rhodes says.

During the civil trial, John Doe testified that when he was a child during the 1990's, Bradshaw sexually abused him thousands of times, providing letters and cards as evidence.

“It will go down as one of the biggest individual sexual abuse verdicts in the country, but it should,” Rhodes says. “John Doe was sexually abused about 2,000 times over a period of five years. He was beat, he was strangled, he was threatened, his family was threatened."

Neither Bradshaw nor his lawyer could be reached for comment.

Exactly who would pay the huge judgment is still not clear. Rhodes says sorting out insurance issues will be the next step on the civil side of this case. Bradshaw had insurance that could be applicable to the claims made against him and he may have also been covered by the Boy Scouts' insurance. 

Rhodes says his client wants to use whatever compensation he can collect to help other victims.

“We are hopeful that the amount of the punitive damage award will cause organizations like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and schools and churches to reevaluate their policies and procedures that are intended to protect kids from this type of atrocity,” Rhodes says.

Danny Wood is a freelance reporter for KCUR.