Boy Scouts File for Bankruptcy Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations: ABC News Video
New Wave of Lawsuits Filed Against Boy Scouts Over Alleged Sexual Abuse
Hundreds more former Boy Scouts of America are hoping to sue the organization for alleged sexual abuse, according to KRCC . Many of the complaints are coming from either past or present members of the Mormon Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) because, until recently, the church was a major sponsor of the Boy Scouts. A law firm specializing in sex abuse litigation against the Scouts said that in just 6 months, they received accounts from nearly 800 individuals, and have signed most of them on as clients.
Boy Scouts Sex Abuse Cover-up
Moreover, an ongoing sexual abuse lawsuit in Oregon accuses the Boy Scouts of America of a cover-up. It alleges that the organization allowed troop leaders to continue to work with scouts after they knew they had abused scouts, even sometimes after they had been convicted of sexual abuse. According to the victims' lawyers, the Boy Scouts of America moved the abusers from one troop to another where they then abused other boys.
For those considering bringing a claim against the Boy Scouts, there can be an added sense of guilt about bringing legal action against an organization that stresses “loyalty” as one of its core values. Be assured you are not alone in these feelings. These are issues we understand and are equipped to help you work through.
Boy Scouts, LDS Settle Nearly 20 Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
The suits allege that the Boy Scouts kept files on Scoutmasters accused of sexual misconduct, but failed to pass this vital information on to parents of children enrolled in organization.
The suits also contend that the scope of abuse was common knowledge within the Boy Scouts’ upper echelon, and that officials were aware of child molesters in their ranks, but kept that information a secret from law enforcement and families.
“In Idaho alone, at least seven Scout leaders were accused of molesting Scouts or other youth between 1962 and 1977. Between 1978 and 1983, at least three additional Idaho Scout leaders were accused of molesting Scouts or other youth,” the complaint states. “In addition to knowing about the decades of sexual abuse by Scout leaders in Scouts prior to or during Plaintiffs’ abuse, Defendant BSA became aware of all or most of the accusations regarding these specific Scout leaders by 1982.”
At least 5 of the alleged abusers named in the lawsuits — Larren Arnold , Doug Bowen, Dennis Empey, Lawrence Libey and James Schmidt — have since been convicted of lewd conduct, sometimes in relation to Scouts cases and sometimes not.
Boy Scouts to Conduct Comprehensive Review of ‘Perversion Files’
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) announced that it will review its secret files to ensure that all acts of sexual abuse and molestation committed within its ranks over the past 47 years have been reported to the proper authorities. The move marks the first time in the organization’s hundred year history that it has conducted a thorough analysis of its so-called ‘perversion files’, a blacklist used for keeping sexual predators out of the Boy Scouts. Until now, the BSA has fought vigorously to keep this information hidden from the public, but it has nonetheless emerged as part of an ongoing lawsuit against the disgraced organization.
The Boy Scouts’ announcement that they were delving into the perversion files came just over a week after the Los Angeles Times published an investigation which found that BSA officials failed to report hundreds of cases of alleged sexual abuse committed by scout leaders and other staff between 1970 and 1991. The Times’ investigation was based on a review of some 1,600 files entered into evidence in a 1992 court case.
For years, the BSA has contended that the secret files contain no information that is relevant to the public interest or useful for protecting children from sexual predators.
When asked why the organization is now finally investigating the perversion files, a BSA spokesman said “While we believe the files are an inconclusive record, the BSA will undertake a new review and analysis ... to ensure that all good-faith suspicion of abuse [from 1965-present] have been reported to law enforcement.”
The Boy Scouts also announced this week that they had released a summary of a self-commissioned study which suggested that the perversion files had indeed protected scout members from abuse and molestation. The study was conducted by Janet Warren, a University of Virginia psychiatrist, and involved approximately 1,200 files gathered between 1960 and 1995. Warren stated that the perversion files “functioned well in helping to keep unfit adults out of Scouting.”
In 2010, Warren testified as an expert witness for the BSA in a civil lawsuit filed on behalf of a victim of sexual abuse. The plaintiff, now an adult, was awarded a verdict of nearly $20 million against the Scouts.
The Boy Scouts continue to maintain that they use the confidential files as an important tool in preventing sexual abuse and molestation. In addition to the files, the BSA has implemented a number of other protective measures in recent years. In 1988, the Scouts scrapped their probation program in favor of automatically expelling anyone suspected of sexual abuse. In 2008, criminal background checks were made mandatory for all volunteers, and in 2010 the organization required all suspected abuse to be reported to law enforcement officials.
Sex Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Boy Scouts, Mormon Church
Five men who were allegedly abused as children are suing the Boy Scouts of America and the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) because they say both groups fraudulently presented the Boy Scouts as a safe organization for boys to participate in.
According to the lawsuit, the Boy Scouts of America (“BSA”) and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“LDS”) knew that there were child molesters in the Boy Scouts, but they covered up this information and failed to warn parents and children about the dangers.
Plaintiffs further allege that BSA kept secret files on Scoutmasters accused of sexual misconduct, but that the organization didn’t reveal the contents to parents or volunteers. Additionally, Mormon Church officials knew there were pedophiles in Idaho Troops, but intentionally kept it secret from families and law enforcement, according to the lawsuit.
The Boy Scouts “engaged in a decades-long public relations campaign to represent to the government, the public, and the Scouting community, including Plaintiffs and their families, that Scouting was a safe and morally upright program that was physically, emotionally, and spiritually beneficial for boys,” the lawsuit states. “Defendants additionally represented that the adult Scout leaders, who were their agents, were appropriate and trustworthy mentors and leaders for young boys.”
Plaintiffs allege the Mormon Church acted in a similar manner.
“For example, in 1978, the president of the LDS church said that, ‘This (BSA) is not an optional program … Scouting is no longer on trial,” the complaint reads. “It is an economically, socially, and spiritually sound program.’ ”
All 5 plaintiffs were in Boy Scout troops in the Boise or Lewiston, Idaho regions.
The complaint was filed on May 1 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho.
Sex Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against LDS, Boy Scouts
Five men who were allegedly abused as children are suing the Boy Scouts of America ("BSA") and Mormon Church because they say both groups fraudulently presented the Boy Scouts as a safe organization for boys to participate in. The complaint states that both organizations knew that there were child molesters in the Boy Scouts, but they covered up this information and failed to warn parents and children about the dangers.
Boy Scouts Sex Abuse Claims on the Rise
Four men have filed charges against the Boy Scouts of America over sex abuse they allegedly suffered at the hands of a pedophile scout leader in the 1970’s. Sadly, a number of similar cases involving Boy Scout sexual abuse have sprung up around the country, and many more are expected in the near future.
The sexual abuse complaints, which were filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court in Portland, Oregon, allege that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) committed negligence and fraud in regards to the repeated molestation of the defendants, then aged 12 to 15.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the new claim is just the latest in a rash of similar cases to plague the Boy Scouts since the organization was found liable and ordered to pay nearly $20 million in 2010 for a sexual abuse claim from the 1980s. Just last week, a separate case was brought against the Boy Scouts on behalf of five women who claim they were molested by a scout leader in Montana during the 1970s.
The two new cases bring the total to at least 35 individuals who have filed sex abuse lawsuits against the Boy Scouts of America in 11 states since 2007. For their part, BSA officials have stated that allegations of sexual abuse over the years represent an extremely small fraction of the organization’s more than one million adult volunteers.
The building controversy has damaged the once wholesome image of the century-old volunteer organization whose mission it is to build good character, citizenship and personal fitness among its nearly three million youth members. In 2010 alone, the BSA reported cash and other assets exceeding $1 billion from sources that included dues, fund raisers, corporate giving and private donations.
Last year’s trial in Portland shed light on records kept by the Boy Scouts of America regarding sexual abuse by BSA members. In that case, the jury was allowed to review some 20,000 pages from what were deemed ‘perversion files’ or ‘ineligible volunteer files’ dating from 1965 to 1985 before reaching a decision.
The files indicate that during those two decades, an average of about 60 Boy Scout leaders and volunteers a year were discovered to have committed sexual abuse. The BSA has vigorously disputed these statistics, and is fighting to keep the documents from being released to the public.
The four plaintiffs bringing suit against the Boy Scouts in the new case allege that they were molested by then-scoutmaster Steven Terry Hill, who was appointed to the position even though the BSA was aware that he had been accused of molesting three other boys while serving as a scoutmaster in California. The suit also claims that the organization was aware that Hill was molesting the plaintiffs in Portland’s Troop 76 but did nothing to stop it.
In the late 1970’s, Hill was acquitted of sexual abuse charges in Portland. However, in 1991 he was convicted on four counts of sodomy and furnishing narcotics and alcohol in an unrelated case involving a minor. Hill was released earlier this year after spending 20 years in prison.
James Hopper, a clinical psychology instructor at Harvard Medical School, stated that it is not unusual for victims of sexual abuse to wait many years to reveal the crimes committed against them, especially for males, who typically feel great shame from their ordeals.
'You have stories of abuse emerging from the Catholic Church and other institutions; now it's the Boy Scouts' turn,' he said.
Secret Files Reveal Widespread Boy Scouts Sexual Abuse Cover-up
According to a damning new article published in the Los Angeles Times, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) systematically failed to report hundreds of child abuse allegations over a period of more than 20 years. Confidential documents obtained by the Times reveal that parents and caregivers were often never informed of the abuse their children had endured, and that offenders were allowed to resign under bogus circumstances to hide their crimes. The BSA has fought vigorously to keep this information hidden from the public, but it has nonetheless emerged as part of an ongoing lawsuit against the disgraced organization.
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) announced that it will review its secret files to ensure that all acts of sexual abuse and molestation committed within its ranks over the past 47 years have been reported to the proper authorities. The move marks the first time in the organization’s hundred year history that it has conducted a thorough analysis of its so-called ‘perversion files’, a blacklist used for keeping sexual predators out of the Boy Scouts.
For nearly a century, the BSA has kept a secret blacklist as a means of avoiding sexual abuse within its organizational structure. These so-called ‘perversion files’ are reportedly used to prevent hundreds of former volunteers who’ve been kicked out for alleged indiscretions from reentering the ranks. Unfortunately, despite their noble purpose, the perversion files have failed to expose scores of deviant scoutmasters who managed to slip back into the Boy Scouts and molest young members.
In a story that eerily echoes how Penn State University kept allegations of sexual abuse against former football coach Jerry Sandusky under wraps, the BSA perversion files contain a report about a Michigan Boy Scout camp director who reported allegations of abuse years after the alleged crimes took place, telling the police he didn’t come forward sooner because his superiors didn’t want to ruin the reputation of the organization or of the offender.
And when five Pennsylvania BSA members accused their Scout Master of molesting them, the man was simply allowed to resign due to ‘work commitments.’ Instead of being taken into custody for the abuse, the former Scout Master received a message of ‘good luck in your new position‘ from the troop.
Out of a sampling of some 500 allegations of Boy Scout sexual abuse, 80% revealed that police were not informed about what was happening.
The growing controversy has damaged the once wholesome image of the century-old volunteer organization whose mission it is to build good character, citizenship and personal fitness among its nearly three million youth members. The perversion files indicate that between 1965 and 1985, an average of about 60 Boy Scout leaders and volunteers a year were discovered to have committed sexual abuse. The BSA has vigorously disputed these statistics, and is fighting to keep the documents from being released to the public.
Related: Mr. Wonder Sex Misconduct Lawsuit
See the other sexual abuse claims we've covered.
Do I have a Boy Scouts Lawsuit?
The Sexual Abuse Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Boy Scouts Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new sexual abuse cases in all 50 states.
If you or a loved one has been abused or molested by a scout master or any other member of the Boy Scouts staff, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.