The Boy Scouts of America is the best-known youth organization in the country. It has been portrayed as a wholesome American institution for over one hundred years. Lurking beneath this glossy veneer, however, were cover-ups, secrets and the sexual abuse of thousands of boys entrusted to the organization’s care.
What many of these glowing portraits failed to disclose was that leaders of the Boy Scouts organization kept a highly confidential list called the Boy Scout “Perversion Files” of volunteers cited for child sexual abuse. But these files weren’t kept in an effort to protect the thousands of boys who wore a Boy Scout uniform, they were used to protect the organization’s reputation and funding instead.
If you or a loved one were sexually molested by a Scoutmaster, Scout leader or other Boy Scout adult volunteer, call the Boy Scout sex abuse lawyers at The Dominguez Firm right away for a free and completely confidential consultation at 800-818-1818. The time for cover ups is over, it’s time to obtain justice and make the Boy Scouts pay. Please take note, the court has given Boy Scout sex abuse survivors until November 16, 2020, to file a claim, so don’t wait to contact us.
A timeline of the Boy Scouts sexual abuse scandal
The Perversion Files have existed for decades. That notorious list of names was highly confidential and several attempts to have the names and contents on this list revealed were aggressively resisted by the Boy Scouts until recently.
- 1920s – Beginning in the 1920s the Boy Scouts began amassing a list of what they called “ineligible volunteers”. For years, the Boy Scouts organization claimed this list was kept secret to help protect the privacy of the victims and to discourage false accusations.
- 2008 – Despite of the thousands of child sex abuse allegations against the Boy Scouts, the organization did not require volunteer background checks until 2008.
- 2010 – In the case of Lewis v. Boy Scouts of America, a jury in Oregon awarded a former Boy Scout $18.5 million. The attorney for the prosecution, Kerry Lewis, who was also the victim, had been molested by Scout leader Timur Dykes as a child. He successfully showed the organization did nothing to stop Dykes from working with and harming the boys in his care.
At one point, Dykes revealed to a local Boy Scout coordinator that he had molested 17 boys. Unbelievably, nothing was done. Dykes was allowed to continue working with the Scouts, including a young Kerry Lewis. The case was also notable because Lewis was awarded the largest amount in punitive damages for a child molestation case in the U.S.
- 2012 – Also in Oregon, a judge allowed the release of the Perversion Files to the public for the first time. These documents, which are thousands of pages long, give details on the accusations and investigations of child sexual abuse by Boy Scout leaders and Scoutmasters between the mid-1960s through the 1980s. Not only did the Boy Scouts identify over 1,000 banned volunteers, they kept tabs on these abusers but rarely informed parents or law enforcement of their existence.
- 2019 – Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill giving child sex abuse survivors more time to file lawsuits by expanding the statute of limitations. The new time limit allows survivors to file claims up until the age of 40 or five years from when they first became aware that they had been abused. Previously, the statute of limitations was until the age of 26 or three years from when they became aware of their abuse. This change went into effect in January of 2020.
- November 16, 2020 – This is the deadline for Boy Scout sex abuse victims to come forward and file their claims. In February of 2020, the Boy Scouts of America declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. As a part of the bankruptcy proceedings, the court set this date as a deadline for survivors to file claims against the organization.
A failure to protect boys in their care
According to some estimates, over 8,000 Scout leaders have been accused of sexual abuse since 1944. However, the exact number of boys molested and the payouts they and their families received will never be truly known. That’s because up until recently, the Boy Scouts only agreed to pay damages if the amount was kept confidential. In more extreme cases, the Boy Scouts discouraged parents from moving forward with claims or going to the police.
The Los Angeles Times and other prominent publications have published the Boy Scouts Perversion Files online. The long list of close to 5,000 cases dates back to 1947. This link provides information on about 1,900 of those cases, including a Boy Scouts database list with the names of the abusers. The abuse was not limited to one part of the United States. In fact, victims can be found in all fifty states as well as overseas.
The advent of the internet and the subsequent public revelation of the Catholic clergy child molestation scandal has helped change public perception. Thankfully, the world is a very different place now than it was just twenty or thirty years ago. Victims are no longer shamed into silence while the abuse continues. Instead, all of us have become acutely aware that many of the very institutions tasked with protecting and educating our children have been harming them instead. And we all want this cycle of abuse to end.
Don’t wait, your right to obtain justice is limited
Remember, the deadline to file a claim against the Boy Scouts for child sexual abuse is November 16, 2020. If you or a loved one suffered child sexual abuse at the hands of a Boy Scouts volunteer, call the experienced and compassionate Boy Scout sex abuse lawyers at The Dominguez Firm right away. We offer free and completely confidential consultations at 800-818-1818.
While we can’t change what happened, we can find justice in your name. Make the Boy Scouts pay for their stonewalling, which shamefully allowed the relentless sexual abuse of thousands of boys to continue for decades.