Boy Scouts of America Faces 800 Former Scouts on Accusations of Sexual Abuse
Hundreds of former Boy Scouts of America scouts have come forward in the past few months with horrible stories of alleged sexual abuse spanning nearly eight decades that reach across every state in the union. The former scouts filed a lawsuit on Monday against the Boy Scouts of America.
The attorneys in the Lawsuit started collecting the stories of abuse last spring as they prepared the suit, which they filed on behalf of a client who alleges that his former scoutmaster plied him with drugs and alcohol before repeatedly sexually abusing him.
At a press conference Tuesday morning the attorneys said that they have close to 800 other clients who were indeed abused while they were Scouts. According to the lawsuit, at least 350 do not appear in the Boy Scouts’ disciplinary files, going on to state that with these names absent from the files the organization has not adequately vetted its volunteers and hidden the extent of the sexual abuse scandal.
“It is apparent that the Boy Scout Defendants continue to hide the true nature of their cover-up and the extent of the pedophilia epidemic within their organizations because the vast majority of new victims coming forward involve claims of abuse at the hands of pedophiles who are not yet identified by the Boy Scouts of America,” the complaint reads.
The former scouts that are making the claims against the organization include allegations of molestation, fondling, and sodomy. Some of the former Scouts ended up in court or were punished administratively for similar crimes., many times years after their alleged assaults occurred.
The accused men tend to be men of stature in their communities, most of whom volunteered as troop leaders or assistant troop leaders. Police officers and members of the military were among some of the positions held by the accused as well as teachers, doctors even a mayor and a child psychologist. These prominent positions that the accused held within their communities allowed them easy access to children. They allegedly caught their prey in tents and homemade shelters in the wilderness, in their cars shuttling young boys back and forth to Scouting activities, and sometimes in the children’s own homes.
Although the Boy Scouts of America have been shrouded by allegations of sexual abuse in recent years, the sheer volume of men lining up to be represented by the law firm hasn’t been seen since the release more than a decade ago of the Boy Scouts’ own ineligible volunteer files. Those confidential records, which became public during an earlier lawsuit, were kept by the organization on suspected or known abusers from 1947 to 2005.
The Boy Scouts of America organization will have 20 days to respond to the lawsuit after it is served. In a statement late Monday, the organization said it has taken steps to ensure that “we respond aggressively and effectively to reports of sexual abuse.”
“We care deeply about all victims of abuse and sincerely apologize to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting. We believe victims, we support them, we pay for counseling by a provider of their choice, and we encourage them to come forward,” the statement said. “Upon receipt of this information from the group of plaintiff’s attorneys, we immediately investigated the limited information provided and our efforts have already resulted in approximately 120 reports to law enforcement. We are continuing to manually search old paper records at the local level and will continue to notify law enforcement.”
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