According to a lawsuit filed Monday in Pennsylvania, the Boy Scouts conspired to keep hundreds of incidents of sexual assault a secret, decades before the recent complaints that have made national headlines. The lawsuit was filed against the Boy Scouts, the Penn Mountains Council and S.D.’s alleged abuser.
A group of lawyers is claiming to have uncovered hundreds of previously unreported cases of sexual abuse in the Boy Scouts from the 1970s, The Washington Post reported. The plaintiff in the case is known only as S.D. for privacy. S.D. claims that he was sexually assaulted “hundreds” of times by a scout leader in Pennsylvania over four years in the 1970s.
S.D. says that his abuse was only possible because the Boy Scouts were negligent, engaged in “reckless misconduct” and that the organization purposefully schemed to keep the sexual assaults secret. His abuser was an assistant scoutmaster who “actively groomed young boys under his charge for later sexual molestation.”
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The lawsuit also claims to have identified more than 350 people who do not appear in the ineligible volunteer files, including S.D.’s abuser.
Groups of law firms have banded together to form Abused in Scouting to find cases of child sexual abuse in the Boy Scouts. The movement sparked after it was revealed that the Boy Scouts knew about troop leaders that were pedophiles.
The organization had detailed files, known as the ineligible volunteer files, that documented thousands of pedophiles known to have preyed on children in Boy Scouts.
Over the past several months, Abused in Scouting has gathered hundreds of allegations of abuse from around the country from men as old as 88 and as young as 14 – totaling more than 500 cases.
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Tim Kosnoff, a lawyer with Abused in Scouting, told The Washington Post that they forward all allegations to the Boy Scouts with the victims’ names redacted so that the organization can report the pedophiles to law enforcement.