On August 5th, a former Boy Scout filed a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), alleging that the organization failed to protect them against sexual abuse at the hands of troop leaders and others in positions of power. This lawsuit, along with the long-running alleged sexual abuse scandal, has prompted the BSA to consider filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This step would make it more difficult to pursue legal claims against the organization and recover damages.
The lawsuit alleges that former scouts across the country have come forward to identify 350 possible sexual abusers who were not included in the Boy Scouts’ confidential files on volunteers who were excluded from the organization because of accusations of child sexual abuse. Earlier this year, an expert on child sexual abuse who had reviewed those files testified in another case that there were nearly 8,000 people listed in them.
The lawsuit includes a list of those accused, including police officers, teachers, members of the military, doctors, a mayor, and a child psychologist. The accusations of abuse range from groping to rape. The newly discovered victims range from 14 to 88 years old and live all over the country.
The Impact of New York’s Child Victims Act on Former Boys Scouts
In February 2019, New York passed the Child Victims Act, allowing survivors of child sexual abuse, including those sexually abused by Boy Scouts leaders, until the age of 55 to file a civil lawsuit against their attackers and the institutions that protected them. Criminal felony charges can be sought until the victim is 28 years old and misdemeanors can be filed until the victim is 25 years old.
The law also allows the victims of child sexual abuse a one-time “look back” window of opportunity to file civil claims where the statute of limitations has already passed. This means regardless of how old you were when sexually abused, you have until August 14, 2020 to file a sex abuse related action against the appropriate defendants.
NYC Child Sex Abuse Attorney
If you or a loved one has been the victim of child sexual abuse, including by the Boy Scouts of America, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Although no amount of money will undo the harm caused, it can bring a sense of justice and closure for victims. For more information or to consult with an experienced NYC child sex abuse attorney, please call Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. at 1-646-798-1535.