Suit settled over scout molestion

  • Article by: JOY POWELL , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 12, 2013 - 10:36 AM

One of two civil suits brought against Peter Stibal II has been settled; the second will head to trial in September. Stibal was convicted in 2011 of molesting four Scouts.

Lawyers said Monday that they have settled one civil lawsuit filed by an Eagle Scout against ousted Boy Scout leader Peter Stibal II of Burnsville, who was convicted on charges of molesting four Scouts in 2011.

A second Scout’s civil lawsuit is heading for trial this fall.

Stibal, now serving a 21-year sentence, was to have a jury trial begin Monday in Ramsey County District Court.

But attorneys for all parties in the first Scout’s suit have settled and are in the process of asking Judge Kathleen Gearin to approve the dismissal, said Jared D. Shepherd, a St. Paul attorney representing the two Scouts who filed civil suits against Stibal in 2011.

They’re identified in court papers only as Scout 170 and Scout 180.

The two young men are suing Stibal, the Boy Scouts Northern Council based in St. Paul and the national scouting organization.

Stibal, 47, headed Troop 650 in Burnsville from about 2003 to 2009. In June 2011, the Burnsville man was sentenced to 14 years in prison, to be followed by seven years on conditional release, for the sexual abuse of four minors in his troop. That jury trial was held in Dakota County District Court.

Stibal is serving time at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Stillwater with a release date of March 21, 2035.

The suit being settled now in Ramsey County claims Scout 170 knew Stibal as scoutmaster of Troop 650 as well as in his role as a chaperone and youth leader at Mary, Mother of the Church Catholic parish in Burnsville. On a 2009 church trip, the suit alleges, church officials negligently allowed Stibal to sleep alone in a bed with the boy on the way to Mexico. The boy alleges that Stibal sexually molested him then.

The suit names as defendants Stibal, the Boy Scouts of America and its Northern Star Council, and Mary, Mother of the Church. Dismissed earlier from the suit was the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The other suit, brought by Scout 180 and slated for trial in September, alleges that Stibal sexually assaulted the minor boy at least 10 times during camping trips and jamborees in 2008. The suit names River Hills United Methodist Church, which sponsored the troop, in addition to Stibal and the area and national scouting organizations.

Stibal had been convicted of repeated sexual abuse of a minor Eagle Scout when the Scout leader pleaded guilty to sexually molesting three other Scouts in his troop. During Stibal’s 2011 sentencing hearing in Hastings, parents told the judge of the guilt they felt for not realizing what was happening to their sons, who kept the secret for years until one of them finally stepped forward in 2009.

The civil suits were filed around that time in Ramsey County.

In January, in connection with the case still going ahead, Ramsey District Judge Elena Ostby ordered the release of confidential national Boy Scout records on sexual abuse from 1999 to 2008.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed and attorneys declined comment, saying they had agreed to keep the terms confidential.

Joy Powell • 651-925-5038

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