An Ohio doctor has filed a lawsuit against William Airey, the CEO of Moose International, claiming Airey sexually abused him in Ohio and Louisiana more than 30 years ago, when the physician was 12 years old, according to court documents and several media sources.
The lawsuit further claims that Airey was twice investigated by Moose International for sexual misconduct—in 1996 and again in 2007—but the organization took no action.
North Carolina physician Jason Peck filed the civil suit Thursday in Fort Hill, S.C., according to a story in the Chicago Sun-Times. Peck claims that Airey "began grooming him to abuse him sexually in 1980, when he was 12," according an article on the Huffington Post website.
"Moose fraternity is shocked by this allegation, as this is not the Bill Airey we know," Moose International spokesman Kurt Wehrmeister said in a statement. "Although the Moose organization is not a party to this lawsuit, consistent with board policy, Mr. Airey will not be in contact with residential students at Mooseheart until further notice."
The Kane County Chronicle said Peck is seeking more than $25,000 in financial damages as well as punitive damages.
Airey "did in fact sexually abuse and exploit Peck on two occasions when Peck was a minor," the complaint states. "On both occasions, the abuse happened when (Airey) took Peck to Moose-related functions. The abuse, molestation and exploitation started in Franklin County, Ohio, and continued elsewhere, including New Orleans, Louisiana, in or about 1980."
According to the Huffington Post article, Peck was inspired to come forward after reading about the allegations and eventual conviction of Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach.
The lawsuit does not make any allegations against Mooseheart, the Sun-Times story notes.
Airey works on the 1,000-acre Mooseheart campus on Route 31 between Batavia and North Aurora, where Mooseheart Child City & School is located. It is a community and school for children and teens in need, and has been home to nearly 12,000 young people, ranging in age from infancy through high school, according to the Mooseheart website.