Many former Boy Scouts who were sexually abused by a Scoutmaster or other BSA volunteer find it hard to talk about what happened to them. Even decades later, many still feel confusion and shame, especially if they previously shared their story with a parent or other loved one and were told to forget or ignore what happened.
As attorneys, it is our job to be the person victims of abuse can tell their stories to without fear of judgment; knowing that we can empower them or take action on their behalf. Paul Mones and the other attorneys on our team have helped countless victims of abuse share their story, and figure out a way to move forward. Sometimes that means filing a lawsuit against an abuser or the organization or institution that empowered that abuser.
Paul Mones has represented numerous former Scouts who had been sexually abused. He was the co-lead trial attorney in the case considered the “dam that broke the Boy Scouts.” He represented a man who bravely disclosed that he was molested by his Scout leaders when he was a young boy in the early 1980s. During the ensuing litigation, it was revealed that the Boy Scouts organization had been keeping track of alleged and suspected abuse for decades, but had failed to report what it knew to the police, or to Scouts and their parents.
The BSA’s files, known as the perversion files, are full of sordid details BSA tried to hide rather than confront head-on. When word got out about these files, and Scouting alumni who had been abused as children realized they were not alone, that what happened to them was not an isolated incident, many of them filed their own lawsuits.
The Boy Scouts of America has now declared bankruptcy as a means of protecting itself from being bled dry by sexual abuse litigation. Like other organizations in this situation, its leaders are setting up a victims’ compensation fund that will allow Scouting alumni to come forward and seek compensation.
Attorney Paul Mones urges any Scout who was sexually abused as a child to come forward and tell their story while compensation is available. It doesn’t matter how long ago the abuse happened, or what state the abuse occurred in. The BSA failed to help others and keep morally straight; it must now be held accountable.
By coming forward and telling their story, Scouts can ensure that the BSA takes responsibility for its failures. They can also seek monetary compensation, which may help them find closure or assist them as they move forward. Attorney Paul Mones and the rest of his team are ready to help any victim who has the strength to speak up.