Lawsuit settled with Boy Scouts, Cheraw church, still stands against former solicitor

File photo of Jay Hodge

A civil lawsuit filed by three men last August against the Boy Scouts of America, Pee Dee Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America and First Presbyterian Church of Cheraw, and the Estate of William Hebard has been settled, but still stands against former Pee Dee Solicitor Jay Hodge, Jr, according to MW Cockrell, Attorney for the plantiffs.

Cockrell says terms of the settlement agreement aren't being disclosed.

"I'm not at liberty because of the terms of the settlement agreement. It's completely confidential. The terms require that the only thing I'm allowed to relay is one that we're filing a dismissal or dismissing it, the causes of action against those people, and that all issues contained in the complaint have been resolved amicably," explained Cockrell.

According to the civil suit, Hodge was a Scout Leader and engaged in various sexual acts with the minor boys, including fondling, masturbation and oral sex between 1975 and 1980.

A report detailing psychological evaluation of the accusers attached to the lawsuit says the abuse happened a few times during camping trips to Huntington Beach State Park, Camp Bob Cooper in Santee, Hodge's home, and at First Presbyterian Church.

The State Law Enforcement Division was approached to respond to the sex abuse allegations against Hodge, but said last September it would not investigate.

Hodge served as solicitor for the Fourth Circuit, which covers Chesterfield, Darlington, Marlboro and Dillon counties, for 12 years. He retired from office in 2008, but continues to practice law in Chesterfield County.

Hodge couldn't be reached for comment, but did release a statement to us last August when the lawsuit was initially filed.

"It's a lie," Hodge said in response to the lawsuit. "People who do know me, parents who have entrusted their children with me for 35 years will know that it's a lie. Many who don't know me, once the names of the 40-year-old alleged victims are revealed, will also realize it's lie and will see what their motive is."

Cockrell says a jury trial in this lawsuit could take place after February.