COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – In a story Dec. 13 about an allegation of sexual abuse against the top official at the Loyal Order of Moose and Moose International fraternal organizations, The Associated Press, relying on information from the accuser’s attorney, reported erroneously that the official was accused of providing alcohol before the abuse. The accuser’s attorney says the official provided soft drinks.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Man: Moose Lodge official abused me as boy in Ohio
SC man claims in lawsuit Moose Lodge official sexually abused him as boy in Ohio, Louisiana
By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS
AP Legal Affairs Writer
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ The top official at the Loyal Order of Moose and Moose International fraternal organizations molested a boy more than 30 years ago in Ohio and Louisiana and years later was twice investigated for sexual misconduct with children, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.
The complaint, by North Carolina physician Jason Peck, says William Airey, chief executive officer and director general of Moose International and the Loyal Order of Moose in Aurora, Ill., in suburban Chicago, began grooming him to abuse him sexually in 1980, when he was 12.
The lawsuit says Airey was a member of a Moose lodge in Whitehall, in suburban Columbus, where he took Peck to Moose-related functions. The lawsuit, filed in Franklin County court in Columbus, says the abuse began in Ohio and continued elsewhere, including New Orleans.
The Associated Press generally doesn’t identify people who claim to be victims of sexual abuse, but Peck’s attorney, Konrad Kircher, said Peck has agreed to go public with his allegations.
Airey, 71, was celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary on a trip Thursday and wasn’t available to comment, said Moose spokesman Kurt Wehrmeister, who added the organization hadn’t spoken to Airey.
“The fraternity is shocked by this allegation as this is not the Bill Airey we know,” Wehrmeister said in a statement.
He added that Airey will not be in contact with residential students at the organization’s Mooseheart Child City & School for needy children and teens, in Mooseheart, Ill., until further notice.
“Upon his return the board will seek to ascertain all facts related to the situation and determine what actions if any are necessary,” Wehrmeister said.
A message left on Airey’s home phone was not immediately returned.
The lawsuit says Peck is seeking financial damages above $25,000 along with punitive damages. Peck “has suffered extreme emotional and psychological injuries and will continue to suffer from such injuries in the future,” it says.
It also says Peck had incurred treatment expenses, lost wages and lost earning capacity.
Peck, a psychiatrist and sleep care physician, decided to come forth after news broke of the sexual abuse allegations against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, said Kircher, Peck’s attorney. Sandusky was arrested in November 2011 and was convicted in June 2012 of abusing several boys, some on Penn State’s campus; he’s serving a sentence of 30 to 60 years in prison but maintains his innocence.
Peck realized that “this is something he has to confront now,” said Kircher, of Mason, in southwest Ohio. “It’s been torturing him for the last few decades.”
Airey provided Peck free sodas and gifts before abusing him, Kircher said in an interview.
Peck, who lives in South Carolina in a suburb of Charlotte, N.C., also hopes that filing the lawsuit will encourage others to come forward with any additional allegations, he said.
The Loyal Order of Moose is a fraternal and service organization founded in 1888, with nearly 800,000 men in about 1,800 lodges in all 50 states and four Canadian provinces, plus Great Britain and Bermuda, according to its website.
Moose International investigated Airey “for sexual misconduct with children” in 1996 and again in 2007 but took no action, Peck’s lawsuit says.
Associated Press writer Mitch Stacy in Columbus contributed to this report. Andrew Welsh-Huggins can be reached on Twitter at
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon