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November 22, 2016
By Dave Altimari, Hartford Courant.
HARTFORD — A former Boy Scout troop leader who served time in federal prison for sexually assaulting a minor is being sued by a former Boy Scout who alleges he was molested repeatedly by the man in a house owned by the organization.
Defendants in the lawsuit, filed recently in Superior Court in Hartford by John Doe, include Joseph Dabrow, former scoutmaster of Troop 42 based in Ledyard, the Connecticut Rivers Council, the regional supervisor of all Boy Scout troops and the national Boy Scout office based in Texas.
The lawsuit alleges that in the mid-1990s, starting when Doe was about 12, Dabrow sexually assaulted the boy inside a home on Highland Drive in Ledyard owned by the Boy Scouts of America.
"This lawsuit contends it was highly inappropriate and unacceptable to permit an adult Boy Scout leader to be alone with boys in a building where the troop leader was able to photograph, shower and sleep with boys in the troop," attorney Paul Slager said.
Slager of Silver Golub & Teitell is representing Doe.
"We allege this set-up was a recipe for disaster, and our client was a casualty," Slager said.
Dabrow, 58, is on the state's sex offender registry and is currently living in Branford.
He was arrested by FBI agents in April 1998 on pornography charges as he left the driveway of the Scout-owned house at 56 Highland Drive in Ledyard. A 12-year-old boy was in the car with him.
Dabrow served five years in federal prison on the pornography charges. He also was charged in state court with fourth-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor. He received a suspended sentence on those charges.
But Dabrow was returned to prison in 2003 for violating his probation after he admitted to his probation officer that he had kissed and fondled a 16-year-old boy in Hicksville, N.Y., where he was living at that time.
The lawsuit alleges that Doe joined the Boy Scouts in the mid to late-1990s. As part of the youth program Dabrow organized group meetings at the Highland Drive home where he was living.
The lawsuit alleges that more than once Dabrow was left alone with Doe at which time he showed the boy pornography and then sexually assaulted him.
The lawsuit also alleges that another part of the youth activities for Boy Scouts was swimming in a pool at Naval Submarine Base New London. The suit alleges that on at least one occasion John Doe was alone with Dabrow at the pool and that Dabrow sexually assaulted him.
The suit alleges that the regional Boy Scout council and the national organization failed to oversee Dabrow's activities and allowed him to live in the house where the alleged assaults took place.
"Nothing is more important than the safety of our youth members and we are profoundly saddened when anyone uses their position to harm children," said Steven A. Smith, Scout executive and CEO of the Connecticut Rivers Council, Boy Scouts of America. "The Boy Scouts of America extends its deepest sympathies to any person who has been hurt by child sexual abuse. While we cannot discuss ongoing litigation, any instance of child victimization or abuse is intolerable and unacceptable. The behavior included in these allegations runs counter to everything for which the BSA stands. Upon learning of this individual's arrest in 1998, we took immediate action to remove this individual and preclude him from any further participation in our programs."