A man is suing the Boy Scouts of America and its St. Paul-based council, alleging that the organization failed to protect him from the same man who is accused of having sexually abused Ramsey County Board Chairman Jim McDonough.
The man, identified only as John Doe 151, charged the Scouts with several counts of negligence and fraud and is seeking damages of more than $50,000, according to a civil suit filed Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court.
According to the suit, the plaintiff was abused "on multiple occasions" from 1966 to 1971 by Leland Opalinski, a bakery route salesman who volunteered as a Scout leader with Troop 12 at First Covenant Church in St. Paul.
The plaintiff said that he was about 12 to 16 at the time and that the abuse occurred at several places, including at the church and in a campground near Willow River, Minn.
Opalinski, who died last year at age 73, has been accused in two other recent abuse lawsuits against the Scouts, including McDonough's. In a statement, the county commissioner said that while he didn't know who John Doe 151 was, he "deserves answers and he deserves justice. We are united. We are brothers."
McDonough says he was abused by Opalinski from 1967 to 1971, when he was about the same age as John Doe 151. Both men are bringing their suits under the terms of the Minnesota Child Victims Act, which lifted the statute of limitations on such cases for three years.
The Northern Star Council released a statement saying that the Boys Scouts "constantly strengthens its safeguards and systems and as a result, Scouting is one of the safest places for children in our community … We work constantly to keep them safe."