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January 6, 2020

Abused in Scouting Legal Team To File First Federal Court Lawsuit Against Boy Scouts of America for Child Sex Abuse

(Washington, D.C.): Eight men who, as children, were sexually abused by adult scout leaders, sued the Boy Scouts of America today in federal district in Washington, D.C. The men seek to hold the Boy Scouts of America accountable for failing to ensure a safe environment for boys and for covering up decades of organization-wide sex abuse. 

The men are represented by the legal team from Abused in Scouting (AbusedinScounting.com), which now represents 1,551 men nationwide, a number that climbs every day as more men come forward to report the sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of BSA scout leaders who were trusted to keep them safe. “BSA has never disclosed the substantial risks of sex abuse in Scouting—instead, it has actively shielded the names of pedophilic scoutmasters—violations of BSA’s legal duty to report such information to Congress and the American public,” said Aitan Goelman of Zuckerman Spaeder LLP, one of the firms of AbusedinScouting.com.

The complaint will protect the privacy of the eight abuse victims by using pseudonyms. The men come from states across the country that have not re-opened the courthouse doors to child victims of sex abuse, and thus these plaintiffs likely have no other avenue to justice. Their stories reflect those of all men who were abused by trusted Scout leaders.

Washington, D.C. is the venue for this action because the BSA was founded and incorporated in the District of Columbia and received a federal charter from Congress that makes DC its legal home. For 103 years BSA delivered an annual report to Congress as required by law. Yet never once in these “Reports to the Nation” has BSA disclosed that—from its inception—it had been infiltrated by tens of thousands of pedophiles and that hundreds of thousands of Scouts have suffered sexual abuse. BSA withheld this horrific truth, all while marketing scouting as a safe and moral activity for kids.

If the case is successful, then men from all 50 states will have the opportunity to hold BSA accountable, not just victims from states that have recently passed legislation (known as “window statutes”) to revive formerly time-barred claims.

“It is long past due for BSA to answer to abuse survivors for its organization-wide misconduct, failures, and dishonesty with respect to child sex abuse,” said Goelman.

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