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Boy Scouts hit for $18.5 million in abuse case

PORTLAND, Ore. —A jury on Friday ordered the Boy Scouts of America to pay $18.5 million to a man sexually abused by a former assistant Scoutmaster in what is believed to be the largest such award against the national organization.

Lawyers for Kerry Lewis had asked the jury to award at least $25 million to punish the Boy Scouts for what the jury had already agreed in the first phase of the trial was reckless and outrageous conduct.

They also noted the Boy Scouts had never apologized to Lewis, who said Friday at a news conference that the verdict shows that "big corporations can't be above the law."

The jury decided on April 13 that the Boy Scouts were negligent for allowing former assistant Scoutmaster Timur Dykes to associate with Scouts, including Lewis, after Dykes admitted to a Scouts official in 1983 that he had molested 17 boys.

Scouts officials issued a statement saying it maintains a "rigorous" system to screen Scout leaders.

Canadians charged with burying U.S. flag

RIVERSIDE, Calif. —Authorities say two native Canadians will be charged with burying a U.S. flag flown in the California desert to honor 9/11 victims and replacing it with Canada's flag to celebrate an Olympic hockey victory.

Riverside County district attorney's spokesman John Hall said Friday that 25-year-old Ryan Smith of Bermuda Dunes and 26-year-old Matt Seifert of Palm Desert will be charged with misdemeanor vandalism and flag desecration.

The U.S. flag was placed on a La Quinta mountaintop shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Investigators say the men replaced it Feb. 28 after Canada beat the U.S. to win the men's hockey gold medal.

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