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A Civil Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of a U.S. Military Veteran Alleges Sexual Abuse by a Former Scoutmaster

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The Zalkin Law Firm has filed a four-count civil lawsuit on behalf of a U.S. military veteran who says that--as a teenage Boy Scout--he endured years of sexual abuse by a Scoutmaster with known proclivities toward child molestation.

The plaintiff, Mark Dietrich, joined Boy Scout Troop 180 in Vacaville, Calif., as a 14-year-old in 1978.  According to the lawsuit, his Scoutmaster, Gary Hatfield, provided him with alcohol and began grooming him for sexual assault from their first meeting in Hatfield's mobile home.  That abuse continued for as many as four years--despite significant evidence that Hatfield had molested multiple members of Troop 180.  Despite two criminal complaints against Hatfield--including one filed by Dietrich in 1992--he was still permitted to remain active in scouting.

Dietrich went on to serve 25 years with the U.S. Coast Guard, beginning in 1981.  His lawsuit is possible, in part, due to federal legislation that makes the statute of limitations for his claims--which may otherwise have expired--inoperable during his years of military service.  That statute--the "Servicemembers Civil Relief Act"--provides protection to all members of the U.S. military who suffered abuse prior to entering active service.


Two statements from plaintiff Mark Dietrich (:52 total)
In mp3PRO format | In QuickTime (MPEG-4/AAC) format | In Windows Media Audio 9.2 format

Statement from attorney Irwin Zalkin (1:10)
In mp3PRO format | In QuickTime (MPEG-4/AAC) format | In Windows Media Audio 9.2 format

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