Sexual Abuse in Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America is the 18th largest nonprofit organization in the United States. Court filings indicate that the organization’s revenue exceeds $780 million annually. Today, the Boy Scouts has more than 2 million active scouts and 1 million volunteers. But those familiar with the organization report that a crisis has been brewing since the founding of the Boy Scouts.
Widespread Allegations of Sexual Misconduct
Allegations of sexual misconduct against the Boy Scouts date back to the 1940s and has affected victims in as many as 48 states. Survivors range between 14 and 97 years of age. The pervasive and systemic nature of sexual misconduct within the organization came to light following an examination of the Boy Scouts own internal records, many of which were concealed for decades. These records revealed incidents of abuse affecting over 12,000 children by more than 7,800 abusers within the Boy Scouts. These numbers are widely believed to under estimate the actual number of children abused by Boy Scouts leaders.
Ineligible Volunteer Files
Since at least 1919, the Boy Scouts maintained “ineligible volunteer files” (or “perversion files”), which contain information regarding charges of sexual abuse against Boy Scout leaders and volunteers. According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, the file was intended to monitor suspected pedophiles who worked within the organization. Approximately 20,000 pages of those documents became public in a searchable database. The court order to release the files followed a $20 million judgment against the scouts for failing to protect six boys from an assistant scoutmaster who confessed to molestation.
In the majority of the cases disclosed by the files, scouting officials failed to report allegations to law enforcement and concealed accusations of sexual abuse from parents. Moreover, additional incidents of abuse are presumed to have occurred at the hands of scout leaders who were not named in the perversion files. The Boy Scouts acknowledged that the organization’s response to allegations of sexual misconduct has not always been adequate. However, confidential settlements throughout the years helped to maintain the secrecy of the perversion files; only with the release of these documents has the pervasiveness of the abuse been fully understood.
Influx of Litigation by Former Boy Scouts Expected
Hundreds or thousands of lawsuits against the Boy Scouts organization is anticipated in light of reforms in the statute of limitations laws that have been enacted in many states over the past year. Dozens of lawsuits have already been filed in New York by former boy scouts as the Child Victims Act went into effect. Bringing a claim against the Boy Scouts organization finally give victims the opportunity to pursue justice against their perpetrators and receive compensation for their injuries.
If you or a loved one has been sexually abused by the Boy Scouts, Levy Konigsberg can help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries. We have recovered millions of dollars for victims of sexual abuse. Please call today for a free and confidential consultation with attorneys at our firm specializing in sexual abuse cases. Please call 1-800-225-9825 or submit an email inquiry above.