A New Jersey law that takes effect December 1, 2019 will allow former scouts who were sexually abused by organization leaders and volunteers a two-year window to file civil lawsuits and hold their perpetrators accountable. The law applies to BSA members who were sexually abused during the approximately 30 years the organization was headquartered in New Jersey.
Media recently reported an Indiana man filed a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America claiming he was sexually abused when he was a scout. Claims are being investigated against former Indiana Scout Leader Richard Merritt also known as Randall Merritt. Records show Merritt volunteered as a scout leader in at least two troops Explorer Post 510 and Explorer Post 12. Claims against former Boy Scout Leader Rusty Bowen are also being investigated. Files kept by the Boy Scouts of America indicate Rusty Bowen was criminally convicted of raping a 10-year old boy over several years in the 1980s.
This law will give access to justice to former scouts who were previously barred from bringing suit due to the statute of limitations. Several states have changed statute of limitations to offer more access to justice for sexual abuse survivors. The New Jersey law offers thousands of former scouts, including Indiana residents, the opportunity to receive compensation for costs associated with treatment for the sexual abuse the suffered.
You are not alone – decades of sexual abuse uncovered
Lawsuits have revealed more than 7,800 former Boy Scout leaders and masters were accused of alleged sexual abuse of children over the course of 72 years. The Boy Scouts of America identified over 12,000 alleged victims of sexual abuse between 1944 and 2016.
Know your rights
Lawsuits are mounting against the Boy Scouts of America organization as brave men come forward to tell their stories and demand justice. Cohen & Malad, LLP attorneys help survivors of sexual abuse and have decades of experience litigating claims in the civil justice system.
If you experienced sexual abuse or molestation at the hands of a Boy Scouts of America leader or volunteer, you are not alone. We invite you to contact our office for a free and confidential case evaluation. Our sexual abuse attorneys understand the unique circumstances that survivors of sexual abuse and trauma face and are here to help you.