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Reports of Abuse Continue to Emerge
April 30, 2019 - Last week, details emerged of widespread abuse in the Boy Scouts of America organization. According to files, there were thousands of supposed abusers and even more victims. The report prompted many victims to come forward after years of silence. We expect even more to come forward as time progresses, and we want those individuals to know TorHoerman Law will support and fight for the victims.
Frightening new allegations have surfaced accusing thousands of former Boy Scouts of America leaders of sexual abuse. Boy scout sexual abuse once thought to be just a number of isolated incidents, now seems to be an institutionalized abuse scandal that the Boy Scouts of America failed to properly investigate and handle.
Thousands of names of former Boy Scouts leaders accused of abusing youth will be released, with records dating back to as far as the 1940s. The records of abuse span the United States.
Nationally, the number of former leaders suspected of boy scout sexual abuse totals 7,819, and the number of sexual abuse victims totals 12,254. The number of victims is truly shocking. The widespread abuse is unacceptable, and it is likely that lawsuits will be filed across the country with the purpose of finally achieving justice for the victims.
The type of allegations against the Boy Scouts of America is not new. In 2012, a landmark lawsuit in Portland paved the way for others of its kind. Kelly Clark, a Portland attorney, represented an individual who had been molested by an assistant scoutmaster in the 1980’s. The plaintiff was awarded nearly $20 million in damages, $1.4 in compensatory damages and $18.5 million in punitive damages.
At the conclusion of the lawsuit, the Oregon Supreme Court ordered the release of 14,500 pages of “perversion files” that had previously been under a protective order. Those “perversion files”, compiled between 1965-85, detailed allegations of sexual abuse, letters from parents and victims, and even police reports filed throughout the country. Soon after the founding of the Boy Scouts of America, files were collected pertaining to all proceedings of the organization. The files were made public to news organizations and on the attorney’s website, resulting in nearly 200,000 hits in 24-hours subsequently crashing the website.
The landmark legal battle and the call for an adjustment for the statute of limitations laws have opened doors for other victims who had been sexually assaulted by Boy Scout leaders. In recent months, States have been working to modify the statute of limitation law for victims of sexual abuse that occurred long ago. New York recently passed a bill addressing the topic which will go into effect in August. New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and California all have similar legislature moving through the governing bodies.
As recently as 2018, a lawsuit was filed by an Arkansas man saying that Boy Scout officials allowed for a scout leader to continually be relocated after being accused of sexually assaulting boys in Georgia. The relocation eventually allowed for the scout leader to abuse the plaintiff years later.
“Since its inception, [the Boy Scouts of America] aggressively marketed the wholesomeness and safety of its programs to the American public,” the complaint states. “Simultaneously, BSA concealed from scouts and their parents BSA’s certain knowledge that pedophiles had been infiltrating BSA in large numbers for many years.”
While the files were made public in order to hold the accusers accountable for their actions and protect others from horrific sexual abuse, the number of files released was only a small portion. There are still many files that are not public, leading up to today’s call for the files to be made public.
The Boy Scouts of America have since made a statement that it has not been purposely hiding names of those accused of sexual abuse.
“We do not keep any reports of suspected abuse secret from the authorities,” Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh said during a conference call with reporters on April 24, 2019.
In those files, it was found that in most instances, no action was taken to prosecute the abusers for their crimes, unacceptable response to the reports of thousands of children harmed by the actions of those trusted to protect them.
According to the files, some Scout officials pressured local organizers to allow accusers to remain as leaders with the requirement of attending therapy with a psychologist or priest. If the accuser was removed from the position, there was almost always no other penalizing action taken and no legal documentation made. The lack of criminal charges essentially allowed many accused leaders to go on with their lives, and even accept other jobs involving youths, yet there was no justice for the victims.
The Boy Scouts of America has long been accused of handling the sexual abuse accusations with carelessness and negligence. The lack of penalty and criminal charges, both within and outside of the organization, have shown the Boy Scouts is unable and unwilling to protect the victims of sexual abuse.
The lack of protection for victims will be no longer. TorHoerman Law will not stand for protections for the accused, and instead, will fight for the rights of those abused by individuals supposedly tasked with protecting them.
At TorHoerman Law we understand that sexual abuse, a type of intentional tort, is a very serious matter. All potential boy scout sexual abuse clients are guaranteed complete confidentiality regarding the details of their case.
If you or a family member suffered from Boy Scout sexual abuse, please contact our firm. We fight for the rights of those wronged by others.
All information is kept completely confidential.
"Boy Scout Leaders Face New Child Sex Claims." NBC New York, NBC New York, 23 Apr. 2019, www.nbcnewyork.com/on-air/as-seen-on/Boy-Scout-Leaders-Face-New-Child-Sex-Claims_New-York-508947722.html
Crary, David. "Boy Scouts Could Be Hit with More Sex Abuse Claims." Chicagotribune.com, 24 Apr. 2019, www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-boy-scouts-sex-abuse-claims-20190424-story.html
Duara, Nigel. "Secret Boy Scout Files Detail Abuse Cover Up." NBC New York, NBC New York, 18 Oct. 2012, www.nbcnewyork.com/news/national-international/Boy-Scout-Perversion-Files-Show-Locals-Helped-Cover-Up--174814431.html?fb_comment_id=199103110224164_676413
Jackson, Daniel. "Lawsuit Against Boy Scouts Details 'Perversion Files'." CNS, Courthouse News Service, 7 June 2018, www.courthousenews.com/lawsuit-against-boy-scouts-details-perversion-files/
Petty, Terrence. "Portland Lawyer Who Won Sex Case vs. Boy Scouts Dies." KATU, 18 Dec. 2013, katu.com/news/local/portland-lawyer-who-won-sex-case-vs-boy-scouts-dies-11-26-2015
"Shocking New Details Emerge on Scouts' 'Perversion Files'." NECN, NECN, 23 Apr. 2019, www.necn.com/news/national-international/Sex-Abuse-Boy-Scouts-of-America-Lawsuits-BSA-508934291.html
Siemaszko, Cory. "Boy Scouts of America Denies It's Hiding Pedophile Info." NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 24 Apr. 2019, www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/boy-scouts-america-deny-it-hiding-names-suspected-pedophiles-perversion-n998226
Last Modified: February 11th, 2020 @ 12:38 pm
Allegations of sexual abuse by former Boy Scout of America leaders have emerged. Thousands of former leaders across the United States have been accused of sexual abuse. If you were abused by a Boy Scout leader, please contact TorHoerman Law. All information is kept strictly confidential.
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