Boy Scouts are taught to obey, respect, and admire their scoutmaster. They are told that he is someone they can count on. Someone they can trust. Too often that trust has been broken. Almost as soon as the BSA was founded, abusers realized they could take advantage of the scout-scoutmaster relationship. The overnight hikes and weeklong summer camps the organization was known for making it even easier for abusers to access their victims.
Over the years, hundreds of scoutmasters and other BSA volunteers got away with sexually abusing boys who were too shocked, scared, or embarrassed to speak up, or who were groomed to believe that what happened to them was just part of the scouting experience.
It is now time to bring those abuses and the organization that enabled them to justice.
Attorney Paul Mones has recovered millions of dollars for victims of boy scout sexual abuse and is responsible for the public release of damning documents that disclose just how much the BSA knew about the abusers it supported or employed, and when they knew it. He is an experienced attorney who is committed to bringing wrongdoers to justice, and he is ready to help you if you are a victim of boy scout sexual abuse.
Sexual Abuse Wasn’t a Secret
Since the early 1920s, the BSA has kept files on adult leaders and volunteers who committed various crimes and offenses. These files were originally called the Red Flag Files or the Confidential Files. Today, they are referred to as the Ineligible Volunteer or I.V. Files.
The I.V. Files include information on BSA staff and volunteers who have been accused of six categories of offenses — Moral, Financial, Leadership, Theft, Criminal, and Perversion. The largest category by far is Perversion. The Perversion Files, or “P Files” as the BSA internally refers to them, contain the names of scoutmasters, volunteers, and BSA staff accused or convicted of molesting or otherwise sexually abusing Boy Scouts.
As a result of Attorney Paul Mones’ 2010 case against the BSA, which resulted in a $19.9 million verdict against the Boy Scouts of America, the Perversion Files were released to the public. These files cover the years 1965 to 1985 and can be accessed by clicking here. The files are redacted which means that the names and contact information of persons identified as victims of sexual abuse and those that reported the abuse were redacted.
If the person who reported the alleged abuse was a professional Scouter, i.e., an individual employed by the Boy Scouts of America or an affiliate, then the person’s name was not redacted. Additional I.V. “P files,” covering the years 1986 through 1991, were released to the public by the Los Angeles Times.
These files are evidence the BSA knew it had a big sexual abuse problem on its hands, but they are a not a complete record of all wrongdoing by BSA volunteers and employees. Not every scoutmaster or other adults who sexually abused a Boy Scout is named in these files. The reason for this is the unfortunate fact that most victims never report their abuse. It can take years — even decades — for victims to realize what happened to them was abuse, or gain the courage to come forward.
New Statute of Limitations Law Opens a Window of Opportunity For Boy Scout Sexual Abuse Victims
Although scientific research has revealed that victims of abuse often need years or decades to come to terms with what happened to them, our legal system typically gives victims a very small window of time to seek justice. However, a new California law is giving survivors of sexual abuse more time.
On October 13, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 218 into law. This new law gives past victims of sexual abuse more time to pursue justice, even if their claims were previously time-barred.
California victims now have until the age of 40 or five years after they realize they were abused, whichever is later, to file a lawsuit against alleged abusers. In addition, boy scout sexual abuse victims whose cases were previously time-barred by the old statute of limitations are being given a three-year period in which they may file suit. From January 1, 2020 until January 1, 2023, anyone who was previously stopped from suing because their case was deemed too old has a second chance to seek justice.
Attorney Paul Mones urges any Scouts who were abused at any time in the past to come forward during this window and see that justice is done. Victims may be eligible for compensation, but they will also get the satisfaction of knowing they are part of a movement that will bring abusers to justice and ensure that kids today will not suffer a similar fate. When you have the strength to come forward, Paul and his team are ready to help.
Boy Scouts of America Abuse in The News
Read Paul's comments on the Michigan Attorney General's investigation of the Boy Scouts
Boy Scouts’ bankruptcy creates rift with religious partners
Fee applications in Boy Scouts bankruptcy exceed $100M; judge calls total 'staggering'
Boy Scouts of America sex abuse survivors claim censorship, object to bankruptcy exit plans
‘Staggering’ Legal Fees in Boy Scouts Bankruptcy Case
The Hartford agrees to pay $650M in Boy Scouts bankruptcy
Contact Our Boy Scout Sexual Abuse Attorney
While California’s new statute of limitations law gives victims of long-past abuse a three-year window to come forward, the sooner you contact an attorney like Paul Mones the better.
BSA have declared bankruptcy, if you are a victim of sexual abuse you have limited time to file your claim.
There is no way to know exactly what would happen, but based on what has happened in similar situations, it is likely that BSA would continue to operate while negotiating with its creditors. All victims of abuse who could potentially come forward would be considered creditors. The courts could then approve a huge settlement agreement with all creditors — aka sexual abuse victims — that sets aside a pot of money victims can make claims against. Such an agreement makes it easy for victims to seek compensation, but only for a limited amount of time. The deadline could be as short as 4-6 months, and any claim filed after the deadline would likely be rejected.
Current and former Scouts who suffered heinous abuse at the hands of BSA volunteers and employees could have the courthouse door slammed in their face. It is therefore critical that victims who are considering filing a case speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Paul Mones has dedicated his career to seeking justice for the victims of sexual abuse. He represented the victim in the largest verdict against the Boy Scouts of America to date, was responsible for getting the BSA’s I.V. files released to the public, and is prepared to help as many victims as possible get closure and move forward.
Paul Mones has a proven track record in represented abuse survivors for over three decades *
Attorney Paul Mones has been representing victims years before sexual abuse became the prominent issue it is today. He is a skilled trial lawyer who has obtained tens of millions of dollars for his clients in verdicts and settlements against a wide variety of institutions. For example, in 2010, he won a 19.8-million-dollar jury verdict against the Boy Scouts of America. This was the largest verdict ever rendered against that organization. And in 2007 he and his co-counsel won an 11.45 million-dollar jury verdict against a Catholic Diocese in the New York. According to www.bishopaccountability.org the verdict remains to this day the largest verdict ever rendered against a Diocese in New York and one of the largest jury verdicts ever rendered against a Diocese anywhere in the United States.
$19.9 million-dollar verdict
In 2010 against the Boy Scouts of America on behalf of one scout sexual abused by his scoutmaster.
Jury verdict in 2007 against the Diocese of Rockville Centre on behalf of two teens sexually abused by their music minister.
$5.95 million dollar settlement
On behalf of 4 victims molested in a youth organization.
$3.25 million settlement
On behalf of a boy molested in a youth organization.
$2.8 million dollar settlement
Settlement on behalf of a student sexually abused in a California school.
$2.6 million dollar settlement
On behalf of 4 victims molested in a youth organization.