Lawsuit alleges church allowed convicted child molester to work with kids in Lane Co.

Lawsuit alleges church allowed convicted child molester to work with kids in Lane Co.

EUGENE, Ore. --  A lawsuit filed against the 7th Day Adventist Church alleges church officials knowingly let a convicted child molester work with Lane County children in the 1970's.

The plaintiffs and their attorneys said they believe the accused youth leader sexually abused other boys while working in Veneta.

The 7th Day Adventist church has not yet responded to phone calls for comment on the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges the church let Les Bovee lead in both the Junction City and Veneta branches’ youth program “Pathfinder Club”, even though the man was convicted and sentenced for sexually abusing young boys a few years earlier.

Bovee is not a defendant in the case.

“(He) was allowed to take kids out on camping trips into the woods alone to supervise them and he took advantage of those opportunities and sexually abused them both,” said Peter Janci, one of the lawyers representing the victims.

Court documents state the victims’ claims were ignored when they reported the abuse to church officials. 

Janci’s client is still a member of the 7th Day Adventist Church.

“He wants to see his church get better. He wants to make sure that kids today are safer than they were in the past,” said Janci.