Ronald Hernandez Hunter has filed a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America, alleging his Boy Scout leader sexually abused him and pimped him out to other men.
According to the lawsuit, Hernandez joined Brooklyn’s Troop 351 in 1972 when he was 12 years old. In just a few months, Hernandez said that assistant scoutmaster, Carlos Acevedo, molested him inside a tent during a camping trip.
“I’m angry. I feel betrayed. I feel violated, deceived. Things that I didn’t know back then. I didn’t know how to feel other than I felt I was doing a good thing. I was making him happy,” Hunter said.
Hunter believes that Acevedo saw him as an easy target. His father died when he was 6 years old and his mother suffered a mental breakdown afterward.
Hunter claims that Acevedo pimped him out in bathrooms in Union Square and Times Square when he was 13 and kept the cash.
Acevedo was convicted of possession of child pornography in 1993. In 2008, he was convicted of having sex with a child. He is now serving a life sentence in Florida.
“There’s a part of me that feels safe. There’s a major part that feels some justice is being done,” Hunter said.
The suit also mentions accusations against another Boy Scout Troop 351 Scoutmaster, Gordon Bennett, even though Hunter said he was never touched by him.
“In particular, it was widely known that Bennett ‘took care of’ one particular boy who lived on [Hunter’s] block who was also a member of Troop 351. Bennett’s sexual ‘relationship’ with this boy was widely known, but Defendants allowed Bennett to continue leading Troop 351,” the lawsuit states.
“Ron’s case is unusually horrific because he was abused so many times over so many years and trafficked into sex work by his Scoutmaster,” said Hunter’s lawyer, David Lebowitz. “Sadly, the underlying story is all too common: Ron lost his childhood because the Boy Scouts failed to protect him and other young men from the sexual abuse they knew was rampant in the organization. If they had instituted common-sense rules and procedures, Ron never would’ve suffered this horrible abuse.”
Hunter said he hopes his story helps other people who have survived sexual abuse.