A group of lawyers has released the names of hundreds of people accused of sexually abusing minors while they were associated with the Boy Scouts of America.
The attorneys, who are known by the moniker “Abused in Scouting” and collectively represent about 800 people who say they were abused as children, publicized the list of names after a Tuesday press conference. One of their clients also filed a lawsuit Monday evening, alleging that as a teenager in the 1970s he was sexually abused multiple times by an assistant scoutmaster.
Even today, the Boy Scouts are still trying to conceal just how many abusers worked within their ranks, the lawsuit alleges. And by failing to reveal the scope of the pedophilia and treating what happened to the survivor who filed the suit, who’s identified only as “S.D.,” as an “isolated incident,” the Boy Scouts contributed to S.D.’s victimization, the lawsuit claims.
“The Boy Scout Defendants continue to hide the true nature of their cover-up and the extent of the pedophilia epidemic within their organization,” the lawsuit argues.
For decades, the Boy Scouts have kept what the organization calls “ineligible volunteer files” and what critics call “perversion files.” Those records list thousands of individuals who’ve been kicked out of scouting for suspected pedophilia, but the lawyers maintain that the public version of the files remains incomplete. (The lawsuit alleges that three Boy Scout executives destroyed thousands of these files in the early ‘70s.)
In the lawsuit, Abused in Scouting says its clients have named more than 350 abusers who don’t show up in the public ineligible volunteer files.
By the time they went public, Abused in Scouting had already given the Boy Scouts information about the abuse they say they’d uncovered. Since then, the Boy Scouts have reported about 120 cases of abuse to law enforcement, the organization said.
“We care deeply about all victims of abuse and sincerely apologize to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting,” the Boy Scouts said in a statement. “We believe victims, we support them, we pay for counseling by a provider of their choice, and we encourage them to come forward.”
The Boy Scouts are also currently investigating the possibility of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy ahead of an anticipated wave of sex abuse lawsuits against the organization. States like New York and New Jersey recently passed laws to let survivors of sex abuse to sue their attackers, and the institutions they represent, no matter if the statute of limitations on the crime has expired.
In New York, survivors will be able to start pressing their claims as early as next week.
Cover: Tim Kosnoff, left, an attorney with the legal team of Abused in Scouting, displays a list of plaintiffs who allege that they were victims of child sex abuse while involved with the Boy Scouts of America during a news conference, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, at the National Press Club in Washington. Sitting alongside Kosnoff is attorney Josh Schwartz. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)