Sexual Abuse Claims Pour In Against Boy Scouts

Court receives more than 82K filings before deadline
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2020 4:37 PM CST
Sexual Abuse Claims Pour In Against Boy Scouts
Boy Scouts of America uniforms are displayed in the retail store at the headquarters for the French Creek Council of the Boy Scouts of America in Summit Township, Pa., in February.   (Christopher Millette/Erie Times-News via AP, File)

A bankruptcy court in Delaware handling the Boy Scouts of America case set a deadline of Monday for people who say they were sexually abused to file claims. By late Sunday, 82,663 had, from every state as well as military bases in Germany and Japan, the New York Times reports. "I knew there were a lot of cases," said Paul Mones, a lawyer who's spent nearly 20 years on cases against the Boy Scouts. "I never contemplated it would be a number close to this." The organization sought bankruptcy protection in February in hopes of remaining viable after paying damages. Most of the people who said they were victimized were men, but women also filed. They're as young as 8 and as old as 93. "The response we have seen from survivors has been gut wrenching," the organization said Monday in a statement. "We are deeply sorry."

Young scouts are taught about obedience and loyalty. Kevin Brooks, 58, said he was in the organization for two years, and used to attend monthly campouts. Every month, the Indiana man said, the same Scout leader would order him to share his tent. The 18-year-old leader would touch the 11-year-old, telling Brooks he had to let him if he wanted to make Eagle Scout. "I dreaded going to sleep because I knew what was going to happen," Brooks said, per the Indianapolis Star. He's filed one of the 82,663 claims, which will undergo vetting by the court. A Seattle lawyer handling more than 1,000 cases said the Boy Scouts made a mistake in going to the court for protection, per the Seattle Times. "They thought they could get in, get out, limit their liability, and protect their local organizations," he said. "But they grossly underestimated the level of abuse in scouting." (More Boy Scouts of America stories.)

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