Nearly 800 accuse Boy Scouts of failing to protect them from sex abuse as new lawsuit is filed
In Response To: CGI’s Sonar: Boy Scouts have a ‘pedophile epidemic’ and are hiding hundreds in its ranks, lawyers claim (RumorMail)
|By Cara Kelly, David Heath and Rachel Axon
A lawsuit filed late Monday against the Boy Scouts of America says hundreds of former Scouts have come forward in recent months with accounts of sexual abuse, allegations from across eight decades that reach nearly every state.
Lawyers began collecting the accounts this spring as they prepared a suit, which they filed on behalf of a client who alleges his former scoutmaster plied him with drugs and alcohol before repeatedly sexually abusing him.
At a news conference Tuesday morning, the lawyers said they have nearly 800 other clients who were abused while Scouts. The suit says at least 350 abusers do not appear in the Boy Scouts’ disciplinary files, citing that as evidence that 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 law firm’s client list, obtained by USA TODAY, alleges molestation ranging from fondling to sodomy. Some of the men accused by former Scouts ended up in court or were punished administratively for similar crimes, sometimes many years after their alleged assaults. About two dozen of the men were kicked out of Scouting for abuse. USA TODAY is naming only those who fit one or more of those categories.
The accused tend to be men of stature in their communities, most of whom volunteered as troop leaders or assistant troop leaders. They were police officers and members of the military, teachers and a mayor, doctors and a child psychologist.
Their prominent positions offered 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.