$5.1M lawsuit filed against local school for boys

St. Mary’s Home For Boys, former counselor named in lawsuit

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A $5.1 million lawsuit has been filed against the St. Mary’s Home For Boys and a former part-time guidance counselor at the home.

The lawsuit seeks $5,000,000 in non-economic damages and $100,000 in economic damages for a man who alleges he was molested when he was a resident at the home between 1982 and 1986 by former counselor Spencer Biddle Dick.

Dick was approximately “20 years older” than the plaintiff at the time of the “tortuous conduct.”

The plaintiff was a resident at the home for about three years, beginning when he was 12. Dick held a position of “volunteer counselor and mentor” and took the plaintiff on several off-site field trips. Some of the outings were made out of state to Washington and California, the lawsuit claims.

Dick is accused of “grooming” the plaintiff, using his position of power to gain the plaintiff’s trust and confidence. “Using his author and position of trust as a social worker and guardian, Dick, through the process of grooming, induced and directed Plaintiff to engage in sexual acts with him,” the lawsuit claims.

The molestation allegedly included “fondling, groping, kissing,” penetration and oral sex.

“As a result of Dick’s sexual abuse, flowing from his position of trust as a volunteer for St. Mary’s, Plaintiff has suffered and will suffer, physical and emotional injury, mental pain and suffering and permanent psychological damage.”

The lawsuit claims that St. Mary’s Home For Boys “created a dangerous condition” when it allowed the plaintiff to spend a “great deal of unsupervised time with Dick even though it was apparent that the relationship with Dick was sexually motivated, unwholesome and risky.”

KOIN 6 News has learned the plaintiff is now in his mid-40s and lives in Polk County.

When reached by phone on Wednesday, a representative for St. Mary’s Home For Boys was not aware of the lawsuit and could not issue a comment.

Attempts to reach Dick for comment have been unsuccessful.

 

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