The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) faces new charges that it failed to report hundreds of sexual abuse cases. A lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania in August states the plaintiff in the case, known only as S.D. to protect his privacy, was assaulted hundreds of times by a scout leader during a four-year period in the 1970s.
The lawsuit says the BSA was negligent for allowing the abuse to happen and that the group conspired to keep sexual assault incidents secret. The suit also charges the organization and several others with “reckless misconduct” in failing to keep children safe.
Startling numbers of abuse uncovered
The group Abused in Scouting works to bring child sexual abuse cases to light. Earlier this year, testimony in an unrelated case revealed the BSA’s detailed internal files. These showed that the organization believed nearly 8,000 of its former volunteers, including scoutmasters, were involved in sexually abusing children over 72 years. That was approximately 3,000 more than the group had publicly reported.
The Boy Scouts also identified more than 12,000 potential victims during that same period from 1944 through 2016. Abused in Scouting says the numbers came from the BSA’s volunteer screening database, which contains a list of volunteers and others who the organization removed or banned over policy violation accusations, including sexual abuse.
Long-lasting consequences for victims
Abused in Scouting says it has gathered hundreds of allegations from men – ranging in age from 88 to as young as 14 – who claim they were assaulted or harassed while they were in the Scouts. The advocacy group expedited its efforts earlier this year after reports surfaced that the BSA was considering filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which could limit the window for compensation.
Seeking justice for abuse survivors
While more former scouts emerge with accusations of abuse, others remain silent and may be reluctant to come forward – not wanting to relive painful memories while continuing to face a mixture of fear, anger and confusion. If you are a sexual abuse survivor, you have the right to seek justice. A personal injury attorney can help you hold your abuser accountable – and get you compensation for the physical and emotional harm you’ve suffered.