Monday, May 27, 2019

Boy Scout sex abuse scandal’s stunning toll: Over 12,200 reported victims

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For decades, the Boy Scouts of America has closely guarded a trove of documents that detail sexual abuse allegations against troop leaders and others.

The most complete public accounting so far came in 2012, when the Los Angeles Times published internal Scout records about accusations against some 5,000 leaders and volunteers named in the organization’s blacklist, known as the “perversion files.”

Now, an even clearer picture of the scope of the alleged sexual abuse is emerging. A researcher hired by the Scouts to analyze a more complete set of records from 1944 to 2016 testified earlier this year that she had identified 7,819 suspected abusers and 12,254 victims, marking the youth group’s first known tallies.

But even those numbers likely understate how many molesters infiltrated the Scouts’ ranks over the years, according to lawyers who have sued the organization on behalf of hundreds of alleged victims. Most of the suspected offenders were accused of abusing multiple boys, they noted, and many instances of abuse were never reported. Several lawyers also said they had signed up hundreds of new clients and that many of their claims accuse men who aren’t on the Scouts’ blacklist.  (more...)

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