Posted on Jun 01, 2011
SARASOTA COUNTY - Two local families are suing the Boy Scouts of America, a Scout and St.  Johns United Methodist Church, saying that lax supervision enabled the Scout to sexually abuse their sons during overnight camping trips.

The lawsuits also allege that the organizations ignored warnings of abuse and bullying in the Southwest Florida Council's Troop 23.

One of the lawsuits states that teenager Robert Brehm, a Scout given authority over younger Scouts, held a knife to a 12-year-old boy's throat and forced him to perform oral sex on him during a 2007 scouting trip to Florida Caverns State Park in Jackson County.

The other case alleges that Brehm physically threatened a 13-year-old boy to force him to allow a third Scout to perform oral sex on him during a 2007 trip to Camp Flying Eagle in Manatee County.

The church is named in the suit as a coordinator of the Scout troop, which provided a place for the Scouts to meet and transportation to the overnight outings.

Local and national Scout officials did not comment specifically on the suits.  St.  Johns church pastor Bill Corristan said he had not seen the suits late Monday and did not want to comment.

Brehm, a 2008 graduate of Sarasota Military Academy who is only named in one of the lawsuits, said the charges are false.

Both lawsuits assert that troop leaders with the Southwest Florida Council learned on at least two other occasions that older Scouts were abusing or bullying younger ones in the local troop.  The suits also say that the Scouts and the church did not have supervisors on the trip who were trained to spot or prevent abuse from happening.
Damian Mallard, Esq.
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Board Certified Sarasota Personal Injury Attorney