More bad news for the Boy Scouts of America.
The embattled group has just been slapped with even more sex abuse lawsuits after a New York state law allowing victims to bring new legal claims on old abuses went into effect earlier this month.
The New York Post reports:
The nine new suits were filed late Monday in both Manhattan Supreme Court and Nassau County Supreme Court by lawyers on behalf of victims who charge that they were sexually abused as children by scout leaders in the late 1950s, ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s.
The suits bring negligence claims made possible by the Child Victims Act, which took effect last week and opened a one-year window allowing victims to bring civil claims regardless of when the alleged abuse occurred.
For a century, BSA banned gay scouts and scout leaders, calling them “immoral, unclean and irreverent towards God.” They also forbade transgender scouts from joining until 2017.
On top of that, the organization didn’t incorporate any rules to prevent child molestation until their Youth Protection Program of 1988 which opened meetings to parent observers and forbade adults from ever being alone with or undressing around kids. It also didn’t require criminal background checks, something that could have weeded out convicted child molesters, until 2008.
“Defendants have known for decades that sexual predators had infiltrated scouting, desiring positions around children, due in part to their sexual interest in children,” the suits filed on Monday allege.
“Defendants knew or should have known of the danger that pedophiles presented to children participating in scouting before [plaintiffs were] abused.”
Last year, BSA announced it was considering bankruptcy due to the hundreds of millions of dollars it owed in legal fees surrounding over 2,000 allegations of sex abuse by former BSA scout leaders.
Ironically, when the group began allowing gay members a few years ago, homophobes warned there would a mass exodus of outraged parents that would end the organization. Instead, it looks as though the organization’s downfall may come at the child molesting hands of straight, cisgender men.