Hundreds of men have brought a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America, claiming they did nothing to stop sexual predators from abusing young boys for decades.
Abused in Scouting, a group that attorneys founded to represent the victims of abuse in the Boy Scouts, said they have about 800 clients who were abused while in the Boy Scouts. The lawsuit says that at least 350 abusers don’t appear in the Boy Scouts’ disciplinary files and cite this as evidence that the organization failed to properly vet its volunteers, as well as that they tried to hide 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 lawuit says.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit allege that the molestation ranged from fondling to sodomy. The accused men tended to have good standings in their communities and held prominent positions, such as mayors and doctors. However, it was their prominent positions that gave them easy access to the children.
“Looking at the hidden predators we’re uncovering, it sends chills down my spine,” said Tim Kosnoff, an attorney in the case who led abusedinscouting.com, a campaign to encourage victims to come forward before the lawsuit was filed late Monday in a Pennsylvania state court. “It remains an open question of just how dangerous Scouting is today.”
One of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit said that a licensed doctor told members of his troop to sleep naked during campouts and then fondled them in their sleep.
Another plaintiff said that the former mayor of a small town fondled him from the time he was 7 until he turned 18. He said that parents trusted the mayor with the care of their sons in Scouts.
The Boys Scouts will have 20 days to respond to the lawsuit once it’s served. The organization said in a statement that it has taken steps to ensure that “we respond aggressively and effectively to reports of sexual abuse.”