Boy Scout Sexual Abuse Lawyers
Were you or a family member a victim of sexual abuse while in the Boy Scouts? If so, you are not alone. Thousands of innocent victims have been harmed by adults taking advantage of young and innocent male victims. We are here to stand up on behalf of the victims and to put the power back in their hands. Call our office today and speak to our Boy Scout sexual abuse lawyers today. The call will be completely confidential and you will find out what your legal options are. Our attorneys have significant experience handling cases involving institutional sex abuse such as Boy Scouts, YMCA, Boys Club, clergy abuse and other large institutions. We will do everything in our power to get you and your family the justice it deserves.
In February 2020 the national organization of Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was forced to file bankruptcy. Once the largest youth organization in the United States, the BSA filed Chapter 11 in efforts of surviving the massage barrage of child sexual abuse lawsuits against them.
The BSA has declared bankruptcy due to the mounting number of lawsuits against it for the sexual assault of countless boys. It has been estimated that at least 7,800 suspected assailants had sexually abused 12,254 boys between 1944 and 2016. Sadly, experts believe this number is likely a “gross underestimation” of the true numbers of children actually harmed by these predators. Even though they have filed for bankruptcy, you may still be entitled to compensation, but time is of the essence. Do not delay, contact our office today.
The circles on the map below indicate the cities the troops were located in connected to those accused of sexual abuse. Data comes from the “Perversion Files” containing information on approximately 5,000 suspected child abusers within the BSA organization.
The Boy Scout Sexual Abuse Cover Up
The sexual abuse of young boys (and even some girls) has been a problem within the Boy Scout organization from the beginning, with thousands of sexual assault cases having been reported over the years.
Over a Century of Sexual Abuse Covered Up
- BSA was founded in the U.S. in 1910. By 1920, reports of volunteers who were “ineligible to serve” as boy scout leaders due to claims of sexual abuse were already being compiled by officials.
- In 1935, a speech given by the son of President Roosevelt mentioning the boy scout Red Files referred to records of child molesters in the Boy Scouts, though many were unaware of that at the time. The BSA had already admitted to quietly removing thousands of perpetrators by that time.
- By 1971, many who worked in Scouting were unaware that BSA was tracking and keeping secret records of sexual abusers because those records were being destroyed. Organization executives eventually admitted to destroying thousand of names from these Perversion Files if they were “deemed” outdated. If the abuser was 80+ years, for example, or deceased, the BSA destroyed the abuser’s file.
- It wasn’t until 2007 when six men sued the Boy Scouts. These men all complained of being sexually assaulted by the same scoutmaster in the 1980s. It was at that time that thousands of internal records finally came to light and that the scope of the sexual misconduct within the organization actually became apparent.
- In 2010, attorneys in Portland won the verdict against the Boy Scouts that resulted in the release of the so-called Perversion Files that had been kept locked away for 90 years.
- In 2012, 1,200 secret files dating from 1965 to 1985 were released to the public. Investigators discovered the extent of the organizational cover up. They found that, rather than reporting these sexual predators to the police, Scouting officials instead urged them to quietly resign on their own.
- By early 2020, the Boy Scouts of America was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to stem the tide of the ever-mounting number of lawsuits coming against them for sexual abuse.
The Boy Scout “Ineligible Volunteer” Files
For nearly a century, Scout officials knowingly covered up a serious problem in their organization. Rather than involve the authorities and bring about a public scandal, they kept a file that was simply intended to keep sexual perpetrators out of their own organization. These ineligible volunteer names were kept in a file which was later to become known as the Perversion Files.
While the rationale was supposedly to “protect boys,” the system failed in that it not only kept the abusers’ secrets, but it never addressed the terrible damage done to the boys themselves. Further, it didn’t protect other boys who could become victims in the future.
A 2009 study conducted by Kline of data taken from the 1970-1984 BSA Ineligible Volunteer Files found that of 374 men where the actual number of children abused was reported, the majority (60%) abused more than one child.
|Number of Children Reportedly Abused per Perpetrator|
|Number of Children||Frequency||Percentage|
|21 or more children||5||1.30%|
Which Cities Had the Highest Number of Reported Cases of Boy Scout Abuse?
|14||New York||New York|
|11||Staten Island||New York|
|11||Salt Lake City||Utah|
|11||New Port Richey||Florida|
|10||Washington||District of Columbia|
Is it Still Possible to Sue the Boy Scouts for Sexual Abuse?
Even though the BSA urged victims to come forward as the organization filed Chapter 11 you may still be able to sue for sexual abuse. The exact deadlines and amount of money victims will receive will be up to the courts and will likely depend on available assets as well as how many come forward.
Hundreds of child sexual abuse cases are already being filed. Like other lawsuits where victims are seeking punitive damages against sexual predators such as those in the Catholic dioceses, civil lawsuits are also being explored against the Boy Scouts for their part in failing to protect the children entrusted to them and for failing to prevent child abuse when they had the opportunity.
What is the Statute of Limitations?
Many adults who are finally ready to come forward and seek justice after being abused as children find it is too late to do so because of statute of limitation laws. One lawsuit is working to extend the statute of limitations so that even if the statute of limitations has already expired, a claim would still be allowed. Several states, including those listed below, have already eased these statute of limitations laws, including California, D.C., New York, and New Jersey.
What About Lookback Window Laws?
A lookback window allows adult victims an opportunity to bring a claim that was previously barred by the statute of limitations because the time for coming forward with allegations of child abuse has passed.
As of January, 2020 only a few states have such laws in place, and even now that period ends on August 15th, 2020. D.C. and New Jersey have provided a two-year lookback window while California has offered a three-year period. Other states that have opened up lookback windows:
- North Carolina
Vermont completely abolished the state of limitations for childhood abuse cases.
Don’t Wait to Get the Justice You Deserve
Like other organization entrusted with the safety of our youth, the Boy Scouts was once a trusted organization with millions of members all over the United States and abroad. With U.S. presidents crediting the Scouts for their virtuous grounding, shouldn’t the BSA have been worthy of the trust they were given? The entire Boy Scout organization clearly betrayed that trust when they protected the abusers instead of the abused.
Sadly, it wasn’t remorse that finally brought all this information to light; it was a court ruling that made the Perversion Files public. An LA Times investigation further highlighted the fact that most of the allegations of abuse were never in placed in the legal system at all; rather than being reported to police, the perpetrators were simply encouraged to quietly walk away.
Call the Law Office of Estey & Bomberger Today
If you were taken advantage of by someone in the Boy Scout organization, do not keep silent any longer. Victims have already reported being fondled, shown pornography, or being made to participate in other inappropriate acts by an adult while under their care. Such acts constitute abuse and if this happened to you, you may certainly have a case.
Your consultation is free and is always confidential. You don’t have to suffer in silence any longer. Contact our office today and let us guide you through the process of finding the help you need in bringing the guilty to justice.