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More sexual abuse claims surface against Boy Scouts

by Kent Covington
Posted 4/25/19, 11:40 am

The Boy Scouts of America could soon face more legal trouble over alleged sexual abuse. Several states are moving to adjust statute-of-limitations laws so more victims of past abuse can sue for damages. New York passed a law allowing years-old lawsuits in August 2018, and New Jersey has one waiting for the governor’s signature. Similar bills are pending in Pennsylvania and California.

Attorney Tim Kosnoff, who has litigated sexual abuse lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Church, said Tuesday that his team has signed up 189 clients from dozens of states for suits against the Boy Scouts.

The Boy Scouts began compiling “ineligible files” in the 1920s listing adult volunteers thought to pose a risk of child molestation. Anderson released a court deposition in New York this week stating that an expert hired by the Boy Scouts said she tallied nearly 8,000 individuals in the “ineligible files” as of January and more than 12,000 victims.

Abuse case settlements have already strained the Boy Scouts’ finances. The group said it’s exploring “all available options,” including Chapter 11 bankruptcy.


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Comments

  • OldMike
    Posted: Thu, 04/25/2019 05:25 pm

    We humans are capable of incredible sin.  Now we hear of past abuse of young Scouts by the leaders entrusted with their care, as we also know of in the Catholic Church and other institutions. 

    Lord, protect us from ourselves!

  • Narissara
    Posted: Mon, 04/29/2019 03:48 pm

    Child sexual abuse is a grievous sin and what the victims suffered is unimagineable to most of us — I get that.  And I get that these were already crimes at the time they were committed, even though they went unreported.  But the idea of adjusting the statute of limitations to be retroactive makes me a little uncomfortable.  The Supreme Court ruled once in 2003 (also concerning a case of child sexual abuse) that a California law extending the statute of limitations violated the prohibition in the Constitution against creating ex post facto law.  Subsequent opinions may have affected/altered that ruling, but the fact that the question has come up once is troubling.  By all means, the statute of limitations should be adjusted — maybe so that it doesn’t start to run until after the victim becomes an adult, regardless of how many years have passed since the abuse ended, thereby covering the minors who are silent victims today because they’re fearful about reporting.  But making a law retroactive is another potentially serious blow to the Constitution.  

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