For decades, the Boy Scouts of America tried to hide the fact that Scouts across the country were being sexually abused by Boy Scout leaders, volunteers, and employees. They knew they had a serious problem. They knew they were putting children in danger. Yet they did nothing about it. “Boy Scouts could have gotten ahead of this early on but literally chose not to,” said Attorney Paul Mones.
After years of denying that the growing stream of lawsuits filed against by victim-survivors was anything to be concerned about, the Boys Scouts of America has now filed for bankruptcy. In order to emerge from bankruptcy, the BSA must address its dark past. It can no longer sweep abuse under the rug.
All potential sexual abuse claims against the BSA are being consolidated, and a trust is being set up to compensate victim-survivors. If you were abused by a Boy Scout leader, volunteer, or employee, you may be eligible for monetary compensation. It does not matter how long ago the abuse occurred, what state you lived in at the time the abuse occurred, or where you live now.
Even if you have been previously told your abuse occurred too long ago to do anything about, you should set up an appointment to talk with Attorney Paul Mones or another member of our team. We are living in a watershed moment when it comes to holding sexual abusers and the organizations that protected them accountable. Laws are being changed to allow victim-survivors who were abused decades ago to seek justice.
This shift in the laws of many states comes in response to the growing awareness that organizations like the Boy Scouts spent decades protecting abusers and their own reputations instead of the children they claimed to serve. Revelations about sex abuse at Penn State; in the Catholic Church; at elite private schools like Horace Mann, the St. Paul’s School, and Choate Rosemary Hall; and in Olympic sports programs like USA Swimming and USA Gymnastics have made the public and policy-makers realize that we need to reevaluate how we have been treating victim-survivors.
At the same time, scientific research has revealed that victims of childhood sexual abuse often need years or decades to come to terms with what happened to them, and our laws are finally recognizing this.
Here in California, where our office is located, Governor Gavin Newsom has signed Assembly Bill 218 into law. This new law gives past victims of even decades-old sexual abuse a window time to pursue justice, even if their claims were previously time-barred. Other states are passing similar laws, and our experienced team is helping victim-survivors from across the country determine if they now have a viable claim.
If you were abused by a Boy Scout leader, volunteer, or employee, now is the time to come forward. Our team can help you figure out if you have a claim, and if so, help you file it. The Boy Scout bankruptcy trust will only be accepting claims for a limited period of time, and it is possible that state law also limits the amount of time you have to come forward. Don’t wait until it is too late.