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L.A., Scouts Immune From Abuse Suit

July 28, 2004|Jean Guccione | Times Staff Writer

A man who alleged that a former deputy police chief molested him three decades ago cannot sue the city of Los Angeles or the Boy Scouts for failing to protect him, a judge has ruled.

Neither could have foreseen that Los Angeles Police Deputy Chief David J. Kalish might have used his position as an advisor to an Explorer troop to sexually abuse teenage boys between 1974 and 1979, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Robert L. Hess decided in a ruling made public Tuesday.

The lawsuit accuses Kalish of repeatedly molesting the boy, then 14, sometimes in his patrol car while on duty, during that time span.

The plaintiff, now 43, was a member of the Law Enforcement Explorer Scouting program at the Devonshire police station in the north San Fernando Valley.

Kalish, who retired in March, has denied any wrongdoing. In his ruling, Hess found that the plaintiff failed to "identify any person whose knowledge could create liability on the part of either the city or the Boy Scouts, or what they knew and when."

Kalish was relieved of his duties last year after a five-month criminal investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct while he was a supervisor in the LAPD-sponsored Explorer program.

Criminal charges were never filed, but he remains a defendant in three civil suits alleging childhood sexual abuse.

The city and Boy Scouts were sued for alleged negligent supervision of Kalish and the Explorer program; failure to warn boys and their parents about the potential dangers of sexual predators; and failure to supervise and protect the plaintiff.

Oakland attorney William C. Johnson, who represents the plaintiff, said he would appeal the ruling.

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