According to Time Magazine, the claims of several previous Boy Scout members in Connecticut may just be the largest lawsuit ever filed against the Boy Scouts of America. 17 former boy scouts and two additional women have come forward claiming that Boy Scout leaders between 1963 and 1975 sexually abused the men, who were boys at the time.
The Boy Scout Sexual Abuse lawsuit is 850 pages long and all accusations are against a single leader claiming differing forms of sexual abuse during camping trips and at a church where meetings were held. The boys were members of troops 80, 90 and 172 in Ridgefield, The 17 males and two females are suing the national Boy Scouts of America as well as the Fairfield County chapter and the state chapter, the Connecticut Yankee Council. The lawsuit also alleges that the former scout leader forced two girls to watch the abuse of several boys in the leader’s home. Complicating matters further, the alleged sex offender died two years ago. Most of the victims named in the lawsuit are now between 50 and 60 years old. The lawyer representing the case said in a statement, “Most of them have held onto this secret for a long time. It’s affected all of their lives. They are ready for some closure.”
The lawsuit states that most victims were between the ages of 11 and 14 when the abuse occurred. The lawsuit is not filed against the deceased man, but rather against the Boy Scouts of America. The lawsuit claims that the national and local Boy Scouts of America troops did not conduct proper background checks on scout leaders and did not take steps to protect children by preventing the inclusion of pedophiles, even though the environment was attractive to that group of people. According to the lawsuit, one former victim was molested over 1,000 times by the man named in the lawsuit. The suit also claims that the man abused boys successively during camping trips when other leaders were not present.
[ http://time.com/4116455/boy-scouts-lawsuit-connecticut/ November 2015]
The lawsuit alleges that the Boy Scouts of America failed in their mission as a safe place where boys could “…participate in healthy outdoor activities and to be given proper guidance and instruction.” The plaintiffs have stated they are more interested in raising awareness of possible sexual abuse and safety dangers in the Boy Scouts than they are in monetary compensation for their pain. The proposed damages amount has not been released.
The Boy Scouts of America have released an official statement regarding the lawsuit: “Nothing is more important than the safety of our youth members and we are saddened when anyone uses their position to harm children. The Boy Scouts of America extends its deepest sympathies to any person who has been hurt by child sexual abuse,” a spokesperson said.
“We were only made aware of these allegations last month and had never before received any reports or accusations against this individual by youth members, parents or adult volunteer leaders. I can also tell you that this individual has not been registered in our programs for many years and is now deceased.”
According to other lawsuits filed against the Boy Scouts of America, back in 2012, during a lawsuit in Oregon it was revealed that the national Boy Scout organization kept secret records of potential pedophiles who were called “ineligible volunteers.”
In December 0f 2014, an unidentified accuser was awarded $7 million by a Waterbury CT jury in a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America. According to court records the jury found the national organization reckless and negligent in its failure to take steps to protect the plaintiff from repeated abuse at the hands of his scoutmaster. That verdict has been appealed by the national group. The jury found that the local chapter of the Boy Scouts of America and the Connecticut Yankee Council were not liable.