Sexual abuse lawsuit names the Boys Scouts of America’s local representative, the Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council [“SVMBC”], and Willow Glen-based Lincoln Glen Church.
In representing a young sexual abuse victim, our lawsuit alleges that the named entities failed to properly supervise convicted child molester Ronald Guinto. As a result, a then ten-year-old Boy Scout was sexually abused.
The lawsuit claims that in March of 2008, Ronald Guinto contacted the SVMBC and asked if he could volunteer with a Boy Scout pack near his San Jose home. Despite no history with the Boy Scouts nor any wilderness training experience, Guinto was able to obtain a volunteer position with a group of 9 to 11-year-old boys. Within a few months, Guinto achieved a leadership position as Webelos Den Leader for Pack 220. That position gave him the ability to plan and carry out overnight campouts and outdoor activities.
A few months later, in the summer of 2008, the plaintiff's mother enrolled her then 9-year old son in Pack 220. Guinto immediately began grooming the child by providing special attention and mentorship including helping him with homework and paying for his Boy Scout accessories.
About eight months after his hiring, Guinto arranged an overnight weekend camping trip for Pack 220 at Camp Chesebrough Scout Reservation in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Again, in violation of BSA policies, Guinto obtained "parent proxies" for the victim, and another young child referred to in the lawsuit as John Doe. On that trip, Guinto shared a tent alone with both children and was observed by another Boy Scout getting into the tent with the children. Despite this knowledge, no one did anything to prevent him from sharing the tent with two young boys.
The lawsuit claims that following the camping trip, a Boy Scout parent made a formal written complaint with two SVMBC members concerning Guinto's inappropriate behavior. However, no reprimand was issued to Guinto for his misconduct. Instead, Guinto was provided with additional access to children through other supervisory and leadership roles. Guinto, afforded the opportunity to be around children, took advantage of his position and once again molested the plaintiff after driving him from a BSA meeting to his home.
“In this case, one of the more reputable and trusted youth organization in the world stunningly allowed a pedophile to easily slip into its ranks and give him unsupervised access to children,” said attorney Robert Allard. “Despite the absence of any qualifications whatsoever and clear red flags which arose immediately after his hire, no action was taken to prevent a predator from grooming and ultimately molesting an innocent child. Boy Scout leaders who were entrusted with the care of children were asleep at the wheel. Had the Boy Scouts simply used common sense, a lifetime worth of damage could have been prevented,” added Allard.
Earlier this year in Contra Costa County, Guinto received sentences totaling 931 years in prison after being found guilty of molesting 15 boys from both the Making Waves Academy in Richmond and a youth program he founded called Camp Epic. All of these molestations occurred well after complaints were made to Boy Scout leaders concerning Guinto’s misconduct around children. As mandated reporters, the Boy Scouts were legally obligated to report all instances of suspected childhood sexual abuse and yet there is no evidence that any communication was ever made to the police or Child Protective Services.
If you have information about Guinto's activities with the Boy Scouts and Pack 220, please contact our office by calling 408-289-1417.