The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) are facing new allegations of sexual abuse from approximately 800 men nationwide. The former Boy Scouts filed a lawsuit on August 5th alleging that the BSA failed to protect them from sexual abuse at the hands of troop leaders and others in positions of power.
The lawsuit claims the BSA has continually covered up a “pedophilia epidemic” within their organization. The lawsuit claims that 350 new abusers do not appear in the Boy Scouts’ disciplinary files, also known as the “perversion files,” which were published in 2012 and listed alleged abusers in the BSA organization. The accused included 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 in age from 14 to 88 and live across the country.
The lawsuit was filed by a victim, identified only as “S.D.,” in Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas. The defendants listed include the BSA national organization and the BSA Penn Mountain Council in Kingston, Pennsylvania, where S.D. was allegedly abused. The complaint also lists S.D.’s alleged abuser, Paul Antosh, a BSA assistant scoutmaster.
What the Child Victims Act Means for the Boys Scouts
The New York Child Victims Act, which was passed in February 2019, allows 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 long ago you were sexually abused, you are able to file a civil lawsuit for one year after from when the law is passed. The time period is from August 14, 2019 through August 14, 2020. This means that if you were 23 years old or older on February 14, 2019, you must file a sex abuse related action against the appropriate defendants, including the BSA, no later than August 14, 2019.
Call Us for More Information!
If you or a loved one is the victim of child sexual abuse, you need to know how the Child Victims Act can help you get the justice you deserve. For more information or to better understand how this law can help you, please call our professional help center at 212-385-4410.