Hagens Berman Blog

Sexual Harassment News: Epstein, Boy Scouts, NRA

by HB Sexual Harassment Legal Team

08/30/2019

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How a Ring of Women Allegedly Recruited Girls for Jeffrey Epstein

It’s not just Ghislaine Maxwell. A circle of Mr. Epstein’s girlfriends, employees and other associates faces scrutiny in the sex-trafficking scandal.

Four women were apparently so instrumental to Mr. Epstein’s operation that they were named as possible “co-conspirators” and were granted immunity from prosecution in a widely criticized plea bargain Mr. Epstein struck with federal prosecutors in Florida more than a decade ago. That deal allowed Mr. Epstein to plead guilty to state charges and to spend 13 months in a county jail rather than face a federal sex-trafficking indictment.

The four women — Sarah Kellen, Lesley Groff, Adriana Ross and Nadia Marcinkova — could still be subject to criminal charges in Manhattan. The United States attorney’s office has said it is not bound by the Florida agreement. read more »

Wave of child sex abuse lawsuits threatens Boy Scouts

The Scouts have been sued in multiple states in recent months by purported abuse victims, including plaintiffs taking advantage of new state laws or court decisions that are now allowing suits previously barred because of the age of the allegations.

More litigation is on the way.

A lawyer representing 150 people who say they were abused as Boy Scouts is planning a suit in New Jersey when the state's new civil statute of limitations law takes effect Dec. 1. New Jersey was home to the Boy Scouts' headquarters for about 25 years until 1978. read more »

The NRA Used Funds to Settle a Sexual Harassment Claim Against a Top Official — And Then He Was Accused Again

The National Rifle Association over the past two years has grappled with two separate sexual haraghssment allegations against Josh Powell, a senior official, including a case involving an employee.

The employee’s complaint was settled in 2017 using the nonprofit’s funds, according to three sources familiar with the matter. Earlier that year, Wayne LaPierre, the organization’s leader, had promoted Powell to executive director of general operations.

In a separate harassment dispute in 2018, Powell’s behavior toward a woman who works for Ackerman McQueen, then the NRA’s advertising firm, escalated tensions in their decadeslong business relationship and caused Ackerman to bar him from any further contact with its employees. read more »