Victim of pedophile plans suit against scouting organizations
Five years of horrific sexual abuse could have been prevented if Scouts Canada and Boy Scouts of America had shared information about a convicted pedophile, says a victim planning to launch a civil lawsuit against the organizations.
“They could have prevented him from screwing up my life for 30 years. It will probably screw me up for the rest of my life,” said Jason Davies, who still suffers from panic attacks and clinical depression.
Davies, now 37 and living on the Lower Mainland, was abused in the 1980s by Richard Turley, a scout leader with 2nd Douglas Scout Group. Turley spent years preying on children in Greater Victoria while he volunteered with youth and community organizations.
“Someone has to pay for ruining my life in a major way and the fact that they could have prevented it,” Davies said.
“I can’t forgive him for what he did. I have never been in a real relationship with a woman because I can’t let them touch me or get close to me physically or mentally.”
By the time Turley reached Victoria, he had already been convicted in the U.S. of kidnapping a boy he met through Scouts and served time in a state hospital as a “mentally disordered sex offender.”
But Turley went on to work at a Boy Scout camp near San Diego where, in 1979, he molested three more boys. Boy Scouts of America told him to return to Canada, but did not share the information with Scouts Canada.
When questions were raised about Turley’s behaviour at 2nd Douglas, he switched to a Victoria Sea Scout group. Craig Vanni, regional commissioner at the time, said reports did not make it clear there were suspicions of abuse.
Scouts Canada kept confidential lists of abusers, but names were not usually added until there was a conviction.
Turley’s name would have been on the list if Scouts Canada had known about the U.S conviction. But it likely did not get added until 1988, when he was convicted of assaulting a child at a swimming pool.
In 1996, Turley was convicted in Victoria of assaulting four young boys, including Davies, and sentenced to seven years in prison.
His history became public last month after an investigation into the confidential lists by the CBC’S The Fifth Estate and the Los Angeles Times, and Davies said he is shocked that so much was known about Turley and so little was done.
“They were just hiding his tracks. All this could have been stopped in 1975 and that would mean all this wouldn’t have happened to me,” he said.
“I think there were hundreds of victims. I, personally, know of some who have never come forward,” said Davies, who would like others to join the lawsuit.
Some former scouts from the group that met at Craigflower Elementary School are not doing well, Davies said.
One has been convicted of murder and at least one is extremely violent, he said.
Some were abused for only a few months, but Turley abused Davies for five years, from the age of seven to 12.
The abuse took place on camping trips and also at Turley’s home, where he had large supplies of candy and the latest video games.
Turley lived at the corner of Craigflower and Admirals roads, then moved to Helmcken Road and then to Tillicum Road.
Davies said publicity from the CBC investigation has been extremely difficult and he has lost his job as a truck driver because the company’s owner did not want him showing his face on the program.
“I did the show to help others, but it has really turned into something I did not want,” Davies said.
It was also difficult to see pictures of Turley, who lives in northern Alberta, and hear him blaming Scouts Canada for not stopping his epidemic of abuse, Davies said.
“I don’t think he’s remorseful. He started when he was 19 years old and you don’t just change overnight,” he said.
Scouts Canada spokesman John Pettiti said he cannot comment if there is potential litigation.