How Long Are Boy Scouts Vacating From Sexual Abuse Claims?
A new Boy Scouts lawsuit deadline has been set for those who file claims for sexual abuse by members of the Boy Scouts of America. The lawsuit targets two specific elements of the BSA: the board of directors and the regional offices. The plaintiffs’ suit claims that the Boy Scouts knew of a significant number of instances where boys were sexually abused but did not take action to stop the sexual abuse.
Over the last several months the deadline for filing Boy Scout lawsuits has been extended in most states including Nevada, Arizona, Illinois, and Florida. In May of 2021, the Boy Scouts issued a statement saying they had received “numerous reports” of child sexual abuse by members over the past several decades. However, in July the organization took its first step toward identifying alleged offenders through a system of personal interviews. The organization now plans on expanding the personal interview process to include GPS monitoring of camp facilities. Both steps are meant to ensure the protection of children while the scouting organization conducts its own internal investigation into the claims.
The new lawsuit comes as a representative of the American Family Association, a national group that opposes anything related to gay, lesbian, or bisexual youth. This includes any type of Boy Scout lawsuit. The claim in this case says that the Boy Scouts knew about previous instances where children were abused yet still allowed the organization to remain in operation. The suits further claim that the Boy Scouts failed to provide adequate services to the members in light of the knowledge that abuse was continuing.
There is currently no date set for the lawsuit. If no settlement is reached between the plaintiffs and the Boy Scouts, they will move forward with filing their own lawsuits. Any negligence on the part of the Boy Scouts will be considered in the lawsuits. The attorneys for both parties will work together to determine the next step after they receive all the evidence in this case. The aim of both is to see that the rights of the plaintiffs are vindicated and the rights of the organization are not infringed upon.
Although the statutes of limitations for sexual abuse lawsuits have been in place for decades, most states only allow one year from the date of the alleged incident for filing. Because of this, it may be quite some time before these lawsuits come to trial. It is unknown if the current board of directors will face a rehearing of the cases, which could extend their deadlines. Until the courts decide on these cases, both sides will have to seek the help of an attorney who has experience in handling similar lawsuits.
The fact is, many of the Boy Scouts were unaware of the systemic sexual abuse that was taking place for decades until recent reports brought this to the attention of parents, scout leaders, and alumni. Many have expressed solidarity with the victims, while others have decided to distance themselves from the organization. Hopefully, the scope of the Secret Files of the Scouts of American will shed more light on these troubling issues for years to come.