Boy Scouts of America will be headed to court after 92,700 claims of sexual abuse allegations were filed. Former scouts have come forward on the abuse against the organization that has filed for bankruptcy. Boy Scouts of America, founded more than a century ago, is based out of Irvin, Texas.
The organization did release a statement in regard to the allegations:
“We are devastated by the number of lives impacted by past abuse in scouting and moved by the bravery of those who have come forward. we are heartbroken that we cannot undo their pain.”
Gill Gayle, who is now 58, stated he was a victim while he was a boy scout. Now, he believes with light being shed on the situation, other individuals can be helped.
“I’m not pleased there’s that many men this has happened to,” Gayle said to CNN. “I am glad this many reports is grabbing people’s attention and will prevent other children from being assaulted like we were.”
As of yesterday, at least 82,000 former scouts had filed complaints of sexual abuse. Before 5 p.m Eastern Standard today, the number jumped to 92,700 claims.
“I knew there were many cases. I never thought it would be a number close to this, ”said Paul Mones, a lawyer who has been working Boy Scouts cases for years. “Even more victims may turn up before the night of Nov. 16 (local time), the deadline set in Delaware bankruptcy court, which the group went to in an attempt to survive damage claims.”
Back in February, Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy following hundreds of abuse lawsuits were filed. Due to the bankruptcy, the lawsuits were placed on hold, despite more than 7,800 leaders being speculated of sexually abusing over 12,000 victims. Instead of the case being handled in a civil court proceeding, all alleged survivors will have to go to the bankruptcy court.
“Their lives won’t be scrutinized, but they lose their right to a jury trial. For a lot of abuse survivors, telling their story in a court of law and forcing the organizations to defend their actions can be cathartic. That won’t happen with a bankruptcy,” stated Michael Pfau, one of the lawyers for multiple victims in the case.
A coalition of lawyers working on abuse cases by the group has clients from all 50 US states, in addition to reported abuse victims abroad. Overseas, there are clients specifically on military bases in Japan and Germany. Moreover, the majority of male accusers are between eight and 93-years old.
“We intentionally develop an open and accessible process to reach out to survivors and help them take an essential step toward receiving compensation. The response we have seen from survivors has been heartbreaking. We are deeply sorry,” the Boys Scouts organization stated.
In their claims, victims had to submit a detailed account of the abuse they experienced and how it affected them, as well as details about their abuser and how he was related to the movement. These complaints will be investigated while the Boy Scouts work on a reorganization plan.
“My hope is that people receive adequate compensation. It depends on how much money is put into the Boy Scouts bankruptcy. At this point, it is very, very clear that the Boy Scouts we meet today in 2020 will not be the same Boy Scouts that will come out the other side, ” attorney Mones noted, quoted by Dallas News.