Boy Scouts’ Sex Abuse Problem Is Worse Than Anyone Knew

These Men Say the Boy Scouts’ Sex Abuse Problem Is Worse Than Anyone Knew

By Eliana Dockterman
June 1, 2019

The Catholic Church faced more than 10,000 accusations of child abuse in the U.S. alone between 1950 and 2002, according to one report, and costly court cases that dragged on for years.

In fact, many of the former Scouts who have waited decades to come forward say they were inspired by other victims of long-ago abuse both in the church and in the entertainment, media and sports industries, who have gone public and seen perpetrators toppled from powerful positions and, in some cases, prosecuted. Those testimonies have also spurred several states to extend the statute of limitations on sex abuse cases, opening the door to more legal claims. The Boy Scouts quietly hired lobbyists to push against such laws, according to reporting by the Washington Post, for fear of facing an onslaught of criminal cases.

Because the Boy Scouts of America are a federally chartered non-profit, they must provide annual reports to Congress, and attorneys for the former Scouts say the organization has not included information about abuse accusations in those reports. “They were reporting…that they were a wholesome organization,” says Tim Kosnoff, one of the attorneys, “when they were kicking out child molesters at the rate of one every two days for 100 years.”

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