Nearly 90,000 sexual abuse claims against the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) were submitted before Monday’s deadline in the organization’s bankruptcy case.
Why it matters: The number of sexual abuse cases is still likely to decrease. Paul Mons, a lawyer who had been working on the Boy Scouts cases for nearly two decades, said Axios expected the total number of reported cases to be 100,000. He is calling for a Congress inquiry into the scam.
- The record number of new claims reveals an unknown scope of abuse.
- The organization filed for bankruptcy in February after facing reports of sexual abuse. The claims were to be submitted by 5 pm Monday.
- Andrew Vance Arsdale, one of the leading lawyers, called the sexual abuse “unspecified criteria” in BSNA, per CNN. The claims include reports of forcible sex, courtship, and exposure to pornography.
For the record: Mons said more people came forward after the BSA went bankrupt.
- “Most of the people who came forward were not molested by people that even the Boy Scouts admitted they knew about it, indicating that the problem was more deeply condensed into the scouts and scouts’ clothes and for decades . ” .
- Mons said that the scale of abuse was much larger than cases involving the Catholic Church in America
Of comment: Mons said the BSA is “unique as a youth organization in which they are Congressional Chartered” and added that “no member is a Democrat or Republican or independent in the House or Senate” has referred to the case.
- He said Congress should launch an investigation into the scandal and called for the charter to be suspended “until the Boy Scouts of America can provide sufficient and complete answers to what they did in the past, and what they do in the future.”
- Representatives of Congress leaders Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) And Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-California) did not immediately return Axios’s request for comment.
Background: In 2010 the BSA lost a sexual abuse verdict, forcing the organization to release more than 20,000 confidential documents, later known as “malformed files.”
- Documents revealed that the organization tracked down suspected and known hijackers, but failed to report many of them to the police. Lawyers say the malformed files have not documented every abuser – many remain anonymous.
- At its height, the Boy Scouts had more than four million members. Now, they number less than two million.
- The BSA launched a nationwide advertising campaign to notify the survivors of the claim by 16 November in August and apologized.
What are they saying: ““We are impressed by the number of people affected by past abuses in scouting and the bravery of those who came forward,” the BSA said in an emailed statement to Axios.
- “The answer we have seen from the survivors is groaning. We are deeply sorry.”
What will happen next: A compensation fund would eventually be created to pay settlements for abusing survivors, whose claims have been upheld.