A lawyer said at least 81,500 people have filed sexual abuse claims against Boy Scouts of America as part of the bankruptcy proceedings of the Irving-based organization.
Paul Mons, who has represented the plaintiff in such cases against Boy Scouts for nearly 20 years, said more victims could come forward before Monday evening.
“I am doing these cases longer than almost any lawyer in the country,” he said. “Nobody thought the number would be like this.”
In a written statement on Sunday, the Boy Scouts said the organization was “devastated by the number of lives affected by past abuses in scouting and shaken by the bravery of those who came forward.”
But Mons said the number of claims filed could only represent a portion of those who were harmed, as many sexual abuse victims do not report crimes.
Recently, Andrew Van Arceld, a lawyer with Abuse in Scouting, told Baltimore sun The organization submitted more than 12,000 claims.
“It is beyond all imagination that this many men have come forward,” he explained Sun.
The Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy protection in mid-February, stating that the national organization intended to use the Chapter 11 process to establish a victim compensation fund.
“We deliberately developed an open, accessible process, which helps survivors reach out and take an essential step toward getting them compensated,” the organization said. He said, “The response we have seen from the respondents is appalling. We are deeply sorry. “
Those who filed the claim had to submit a detailed account of the abuse they had experienced and how it affected them, as well as details about their misdemeanors and how they were related to scouting.
Outside advisors will review the allegations as Boy Scouts work on a restructuring plan to fund the proposed victim compensation fund, the organization said.
It is not yet clear how much money will be available to the victims.
“My hope is that people will be compensated appropriately,” Mons said. “It depends on how much money the Boy Scouts have in bankruptcy. Right now, it is very clear that the Boy Scouts we know today in 2020 will not be the same Boy Scouts who come out from the other side. “
The organization has stated that its scouting programs will continue.
Mons said other youth organizations “neglect the bankruptcy of the Boy Scouts in their crisis.”
“Other youth organizations – after-school programs, sports programs, entertainment programs – all have to renew their efforts in light of these numbers to ensure that children are protected.”