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Boy Scouts of America is accused of covering up reports of sex abuse in massive new lawsuit

Boy Scouts of America has been accused of covering up reports of sex abuse in massive new lawsuit detailing accounts from nearly 800 young members against at least 350 alleged pedophile troop leaders. 

The suit filed late Monday in Pennsylvania State Court contains hundreds of shocking sex abuse allegations that took place in 48 states over a period of eight decades, USA TODAY reported.  

Many of the alleged abusers implicated in the suit were prominent members of their communities, including teachers, doctors, police officers and a mayor.

The suit centers around a 57-year-old plaintiff, identified only as S.D., who alleges that his former scout master plied him with alcohol and drugs and abused him ‘hundreds of times’ over a four-year period during the 1970s in Pennsylvania.  

The suit claims that BSA’s negligence allowed the alleged abuse to take place, and accuses the organization of engaging in ‘reckless misconduct’ by failing to protect the children it served. 

It also alleges that BSA purposely tried to reported sexual assault incidents under wraps.   

‘BSA knew for decades that sexual predators of boys had infiltrated scouting,’ the suit says.  

Lawyers began collecting accounts from former boy scouts who said they had been molested this spring while preparing the suit on behalf of S.D.  

They launched an online campaign called abusedinscouting.com, which encouraged new victims to come forward.  

The lawyers, who dubbed their team ‘Abused in Scouting’, say that the long list of alleged abusers compiled while building that case over the last several months indicates that BSA either did not properly vet its volunteers or that it hid the extent of the sex abuse scandal.   

‘It is apparent that the Boy Scout Defendants continue to hide the true nature of their cover-up and the extent of the pedophilia epidemic within their organizations because the vast majority of new victims coming forward involve claims of abuse at the hands of pedophiles who are not yet identified by the Boy Scouts of America,’ a complaint obtained by USA says. 

Boy Scouts of America has 20 days to respond to the lawsuit. 

The Boy Scouts of America reacted to the latest suit by saying it ‘aggressively works’ to respond to allegations of abuse and that victims are encouraged to come forward.  

‘Upon receipt of this information from the group of plaintiff’s attorneys, we immediately investigated the limited information provided and our efforts have already resulted in approximately 120 reports to law enforcement,’ BSA said in a statement.  

‘We are continuing to manually search old paper records at the local level and will continue to notify law enforcement as additional individuals are.’ 

The detailed accounts of abuse outlined in the lawsuit range from fondling to sodomy, taking place in various locations including tents in the wilderness, vehicles used to transport scouts to troop activities, and even within the scouts’ homes. 

The accused perpetrators tended to be esteemed members of their communities who volunteered as troop leaders or assistant troop leaders, positions that offered them easy access to children whose parents trusted BSA’s wholesome reputation. 

‘Looking at the hidden predators we’re uncovering it sends chills down my spine,’ attorney Tim Kosnoff said. 

‘It remains an open question of just how dangerous scouting is today.’

Abused in Scouting attorneys revealed the names of 300 abusers at a press conference on Tuesday morning in Washington DC.  

One former scout claimed that a licensed doctor ordered boys in his troop to sleep naked during campouts and then molested them after they fell asleep. 

That same doctor also allegedly abused boys under the guise of medical exams. He lost his license decades after the scout said the abuse took place because similar allegations.   

Another accuser claimed that the mayor of a small town fondled him from when he was seven until he turned 18. 

The now-retired mayor was sued in July of this year by the son of a former employee who claimed he had abused the boy for years.  

Boy Scouts of America also is named as a defendant in that suit.

Former troop leader and teacher Gary Stroup was banned from Boy Scouts after being accused of groping 11-year-old boys in 1989 and repeatedly petitioned to get back into the organization. 

He maintained his innocence until he was indicted in 2005 on multiple counts of sexually abusing children at two schools where he had worked. 

Stroup entered a plea on two counts of gross sexual exploitation and was sentenced to four years in prison.   

Carmine Charles Robert Falco is now serving a live sentence for sexually abusing at least six scouts over a 20-year period between the 70s and the 90s – during which time BSA was aware of the allegations against him.  

One client, Michael Robinson, agreed to speak publicly about coming forward 40 years later to accuse his pediatrician, Dr Alan Schwartz, of fondling him during campouts.

‘It’s kind of embarrassing,’ he said. ‘You hide it, you don’t want to talk about it. But it needs to be talked about now. The public needs to know about it.’

Robinson said BSA’s response to allegations over the years has been ‘totally unacceptable’, adding: ‘I just hope to God they’re not still doing it to kids.’ 

Boy Scouts of America has been dogged by allegations of sexual abuse in the past two decades.  

In 2003, BSA was hit with a lawsuit that ultimately forced the organization to release its ‘ineligible volunteer files’ for the first time.  

Confidential records of suspected or known abusers from between 1947 and 2005 were made public in 2012. 

Of the 350 men named in this week’s lawsuit, only 28 were also named in BSA records, which were known internally as ‘perversion files’.    

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