Former scout leader named in sexual abuse complaint

Ann Knef Nov. 6, 2006, 11:05am

A 20-year-old man is suing his former Boy Scout leader on allegations of sexual assault that occurred over a six-year period.

Seeking in excess of $6 million in compensatory and punitive damages, Jonathan Whitaker names Raymond L. Weier as his abuser in a 17-count lawsuit filed Nov. 3 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Jonathan Whitaker claims Weier abused him from 1995 through 2001. He claims he was forced to participate in and perform sexual ats on Weier.

The suit also seeks damages from Michael J. and Cheryl K. Whitaker for allowing Weier to "spend unusual amounts of time with Defendant."

Jonathan Whitaker claims that beginning in 1995 at age 9 he "was continuously placed in the care of Defendant Weier" who purchased him clothing and gifts.

He claims Michael and Cheryl Whitaker were present when Weier made inappropriate comments "expressing his love for Plaintiff" and ignored signs that he was being provided drugs and alcohol by Weier.

Whitaker also claims he was allowed to go on weekend trips with Weier and spend the night at his home.

He claims Michael and Cheryl Whitaker failed to protect him when they knew or should have known that Weier was committing sexual assaults and batteries and they negligently encouraged the relationship.

The suit also names the Whitakers doing business as Casa Gonzales Catering and Charlie's Restaurant & Lounge, as well as Okaw Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America and Boy Scouts of America.

Jonathan Whitaker claims Weier was an employee of Casa Gonzales and Charlie's.

The suit claims the Okay Valley Council negligently allowed Weier to take young boys, including Whitaker, on overnight and weekend trips without properly investigating Weier's character and behavior before entrusting children to his care.

The suit claims that some of the abuse occurred while Weier was acting as scout leader.

Jonathan Whitaker, represented by Thomas B. Cannady of Keehner, Cannady & Katz of Belleville, claims he suffered physical and severe mental pain and anguish.

"Plaintiff feared for his life and safety, and suffered great shame and humiliation and injury to his dignity and feelings, and thereby became sick, nervous and psychologically and psychiatrically damaged...," the complaint states.

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