800 Men from Across the U.S. Say They Were Abused When They Were Boy Scouts
Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Aug 09, 2019 in Personal Injury
A group of attorneys has collected reports of 800 men across the nation who say they were abused while in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). One of the 800 filed a lawsuit on Monday, claiming he was molested dozens of times in the 1970s by an assistant scoutmaster when he was about 12.
The lawsuit says the BSA has continued to hide the extent of child sexual abuse that has been happening in the organization. This claim is supported by the fact that many of the clients this victim’s attorney is representing were not identified by the organization beforehand. (The organization has files acknowledging pedophilia and predatory behavior by scout leaders.)
The lawsuit says there has been a continuing conspiracy to cover up the abuse that has been happening both in the U.S. and overseas.
At Phillips Law Group, we encourage victims of sexual abuse to come forward. We offer a free and confidential consultation to discuss whether you may have legal options. Call our licensed attorneys right now at 1-800-706-3000.
History of Sexual Abuse in the Boy Scouts
According to court documents released earlier this year, more than 12,000 people were sexually abused by nearly 8,000 scout leaders and troop volunteers between 1944 and 2016.
In addition to the 800 people who came forward this week with allegations, more than 200 people made sexual abuse allegations against the BSA earlier this year.
The lawsuit filed on Monday says this has been a crisis in the Boy Scouts since the beginning of the 1900s. The organization has been keeping files on pedophilia and predatory behavior among scout leaders since 1919.
In 2012, Oregon’s Supreme Court ordered these files to be released, but Monday’s lawsuit claims thousands of files were destroyed in the 1970s.
Boy Scouts of America’s Response
The organization sent an email on Tuesday admitting the organization has not always responded to allegations in a way that is consistent with their values and the current rules they have in place.
However, the organization says it does background checks on volunteers and has a rule prohibiting scouts from being alone with a single troop member. BSA policy is to immediately report suspected or alleged abuse to law enforcement.
The lawsuit says the BSA had different policies in the past. A 1972 letter addressed to all scout executives lists steps to take if there was inappropriate behavior, and these steps did not involve contacting law enforcement.
The first step of the process was informing an executive at the national office who needed to find hard evidence of the abuse. Then, the executive needed to deliver a letter to the volunteer in question, telling him that he was being dismissed without giving an explanation why. Volunteers who wanted to enroll in the BSA again after being let go because of misconduct could do so if they took a series of steps.
BSA Considering Bankruptcy
Since 2017, the BSA has faced multiple lawsuits and officials are considering filing for bankruptcy. The organization’s 2016 financial report says that if its liability insurance and financial reserves cannot resolve current and future claims it could have a significant impact on the BSA’s financial future.
The attorney representing the latest victim to file a lawsuit is encouraging victims to speak out because of the possibility of bankruptcy. If the BSA were to file for bankruptcy, no new lawsuits could be filed, and existing cases would be stopped.
The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the nation and was founded in 1910. Scouting divisions include Cub Scouting for children in kindergarten through fifth grade, BSA for youth ages 11 to 17 and Venturing and Sea Scouting for ages 14 to 20.
The BSA is the 18th largest nonprofit organization in the U.S. Its revenue exceeds $780 million per year and there are more than two million active scouts and over one million volunteers.
Get in Touch with a Qualified Lawyer Right Now
If an organization like the Boy Scouts of America covers up abuse, it should be held accountable to victims. The experienced Phoenix personal injury attorneys at Phillips Law Group are ready to help abuse victims who want to come forward. In a free consultation, we can discuss whether you may have a case. If you do have a case, we can discuss how we could assist you throughout the legal process if you choose to hire our firm.
Reach out to us today. Your consultation is 100 percent free and confidential. If you have a case and you hire us, we do not charge attorney’s fees unless we obtain compensation.