A lengthy investigation has revealed decades of alleged sexual abuse perpetrated throughout the Boy Scouts of America organization. Court documents show as of April 2019 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 identified over 12,000 alleged victims of sexual abuse between 1944 and 2016.
Some of the earliest sexual abuse lawsuits were filed against the Boy Scouts in the mid-1970s. However, internal files kept by the organization indicate scouts reported allegations of sexual abuse at the hands of scout leaders and masters as early as the organization’s inception. Most of those early claims of sexual abuse were documented and kept in secret files within the Boy Scouts organization and not reported to law enforcement. These files were dubbed the “ineligible volunteer” files or “red files”.
Boy Scouts of America Files Reveal Decades of Sexual Abuse Claims
In 2012 the Boy Scouts of America was required by a court order to release the “ineligible volunteer” files. The Los Angeles Times conducted an investigation into these files. The Times found in 80% of 500 cases in which the Boy Scouts were the first to learn of claims of abuse, there was no record of scouting officials reporting the allegations to the police. The newspaper also found patterns of grooming behavior perpetrated by the alleged molesters which included giving gifts, one-on-one attention, or favors to gain closer access to these children. A more in-depth review also found dozens of men who were removed from the Scout organization on suspicion of sexual abuse found ways to rejoin the organization only to face new allegations of molestation. Some of these men simply changed Troops.
The “ineligible volunteer” files also reveal claims of sexual abuse involving Boy Scout troops on Indiana. Attorney Ashley Hadler discusses some of these Indiana cases here.
Former Boy Scout members come forward to report sexual abuse and seek justice
A recent article in Time Magazine includes interviews from several men who claim they were molested when they were members of the Boy Scouts of America. These men shared with reporters the detail of the alleged sexual abuse and how the trauma has impacted their lives.
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.