Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Nearly 100,000 sexual abuse claims lodged against US Boy Scouts



Nearly 100,000 sexual abuse claims lodged against US Boy Scouts

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Boy Scouts of America has more than two million members. AFP

Nearly 100,000 sexual abuse claims lodged against US Boy Scouts

Almost 100,000 victims of sexual abuse that took place in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) had come forward by Monday evening, the deadline to receive compensation from the organisation, a lawyer for the victims told reporters.

“As of today, 95,000 claims have been filed,” attorney Paul Moses said.

The figure, revealing the scale of alleged abuse committed over decades by scout leaders, dwarfs the roughly 11,000 complaints believed to have been filed in recent years against the Catholic Church.

“It’s by far the largest sexual abuse scandal in the US,” Moses said, adding that scouting has long offered a “perfect petri dish” for paedophiles.

“Boys have taken an oath of loyalty, they are away from their parents, in the wilderness. 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,” the scouting organization said in a statement.

“We are heartbroken that we cannot undo their pain. We intentionally developed an open, accessible process to reach survivors and help them take an essential step toward receiving compensation. The response we have seen from survivors has been gut wrenching. We are deeply sorry,” the BSA added.

The group, founded in 1910, has 2.2 million members between the ages of five and 21.

Rocked by accusations of sexual abuse, the BSA filed for bankruptcy in February in an effort to block settlement claims from hitting the organisation directly and instead funnelled them to a compensation fund.

The group, which is valued at more than $1 billion, has not said how much they intend to spend via this fund.

Revelations of misconduct in US scouting circles came to widespread attention in 2012 when the Los Angeles Times published internal documents spelling out details of decades of sexual abuse.

Some 5,000 “perversion files” were uncovered, identifying about as many alleged culprits among scout leadership, including scout masters and troop leaders.

Most incidents were not reported to authorities, and the BSA took it upon themselves to remove the accused offenders.

Negotiations will now begin between victims, the BSA and their insurers to determine the amounts to be paid.

Moses said it was a “very complicated” process that could last one or two years.

Moses in 2010 won $20 million for a former Boy Scout abused by his leader.

Multiple cases have been filed against the BSA since 2012, especially after several states extended the statute of limitations on allegations of child sexual assault.

MOST VIEWED

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • Four-pillar approach in reopening of tourism: PM

    Cambodia is drawing up a four-strategy approach to promptly restore domestic and international tourism activity and put the industry on a transition pathway to a sustainable and inclusive model that is resistant to future crises, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen. The prime minister made

  • Airline says ready for green light to reopen international tourism

    Sky Angkor Airline Co Ltd on September 21 said it is ready to transport South Korean and Chinese tourists to the Kingdom once the Cambodian government makes good on plans to reopen its borders to vaccinated travellers. The Siem Reap-based airline made the remark during a

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Cambodian bride ‘badly treated, held captive’ by Chinese man seeks help

    A Cambodian woman who travelled to China to marry a Chinese man there was “badly treated” by her husband’s family and then had to be rescued and will be returned to Cambodia to ensure her safety. The rescue operation came about after the 25-year-old