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Boy Scouts of America faces more sexual abuse allegations

25 Apr 2019, 05:12 ( 3 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Photo EK.

More than 200 former U.S. boy scouts have come forward with new allegations of sexual abuse by members of the Boy Scouts of America in recent weeks, according to a USA Today report on Wednesday.

   Some victims are still underage or in their 20s, though many have held their secrets for decades, said the report.

   Several law firms are seeking to uncover unidentified child abusers by running TV and Google ads encouraging victims to sign on as clients for a potential lawsuit after a report in December that Boy Scouts of America prepared for a possible Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing partly due to legal cases of this kind the organization already is facing.

   In a statement about the new allegations, Boy Scouts of America said, "Any incident of child abuse is one too many, and nothing is more important than the safety and protection of children in our Scouting programs."

   "Nobody would have listened to me," said James Kretschmer, 56, who claimed that a leader groped him at a Boy Scouts camp when he was in middle school.

   "The problem is, then you think, 'Is it something I did? What was I doing, was it my fault? If I hadn't done whatever, he wouldn't have done that.' It took me years and years to realize it wasn't that little child's fault. It was the adult who had control," he told the USA Today.

   Advised by Tim Kosnoff, an attorney who has litigated more than a thousand cases of sexual misconduct against organizations such as the Scouts and the Mormon church, the law firms involved have identified 150 alleged pedophiles never before publicly accused, said the report.

   The 100-year-old Boy Scouts have been dogged by abuse allegations since a landmark case in 2010 that ended with an 18.5-million-U.S.-dollar damage award and the release of more than 20,000 confidential documents, dubbed the "perversion files."

   Bankruptcy would create a limited window for victims to file claims. Those filings would be confidential, meaning names of perpetrators would not be made public. Afterward, Boy Scouts of America would emerge as a reorganized debtor and would not have to face civil litigation for, or negative publicity about, claims of wrongdoing, according to the report.