Courtesy of New York Post: [https://nypost.com/2019/08/20/boy-scouts-of-america-hit-with-even-more-sex-abuse-lawsuits/]
August 20 / 2019
It’s another bad turn for the Boy Scouts of America.
The “Do a good turn daily” group has been hit with more sexual abuse lawsuits thanks to a state law allowing victims to bring new legal claims on old abuses.
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.
“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 allege.
“Defendants knew or should have known of the danger that pedophiles presented to children participating in scouting before [plaintiffs were] abused.”
The suits claim that the existence of the Boy Scouts’ internal “perversion files” listing some 7,800 problematic scout leaders “demonstrate that the Boy Scouts were aware and have been aware that pedophiles are attracted to scouting, the distinctive characteristics of scouting render scouts particularly susceptible to pedophiles who are given authority, and the actual and apparent authority of persons who serve in scoutmaster roles are used by pedophiles to sexually abuse young scouts in and out of scouting.”
In announcing the suits Tuesday, victim lawyer Jeff Anderson said: “In every single instance this is a trusted authority figure, a scout leader, charged with developing the youth and under the guise of safety and in a position of authority, repeatedly and in every instance raped a child under his charge and caused that child to suffer in secrecy, and in silence and in shame for decades.”
“In each of these instances the Boy Scouts of America kept that rape, kept that molestation and kept the identity of the offender secret until forced to be disclosed by legal actions,” Anderson said.
Many of the accusers were not named in the suit, but one identified only as 61-year-old David from Minnesota, appeared at a press conference Tuesday shortly after Anderson confronted David’s alleged sex abuser via phone.
“Just an hour ago, Jeff called my rapist and I listened to the conversation on speakerphone. And I listened to a cold-hearted rapist deny every accusation, deny what’s in the official record, no remorse whatsoever,” said David, who wore a hat and sunglasses to shield his identity.
“When I heard him deny it, it was the last assault I was willing to tolerate and that’s what brought me here today,” said David as he called for the Boy Scouts of America to make all the “perversion files” public and “out these rapists and build a better future for our children.”
David claims in his lawsuit, which was filed anonymously, that he was sexually abused by a scout leader, identified as Patrick A. Mancuso, from 1970 to 1972 while he was a member of Troop No. 744 in the Bronx.
Mancuso, who was removed from the Boy Scouts in 1977, has previously been named among the “perversion files” published by the Los Angeles Times.
“If it wasn’t for this file and me seeing it,” David said. “It gave me the strength to come forward.”
He pleaded for any other potential victims of his troop to come forward.
Mancuso did not immediately return a request for comment by The Post.
One of the two plaintiffs identified in the suits, Harry Finger of New York, claims that in 1962 while a member of Boy Scout Troop No. 42 at St. Nicholas of Tolentine in the Bronx where he was attending school when a troop leader “engaged in unpermitted sexual contact” with him, according to the court documents.
Another suit brought by William Moran of New York charges that from roughly 1968 to 1972, when he was about 11 to 14 years old, he was sexually abused by a scout leader at Troop No. 258 at House of Hope Presbyterian Church in Nassau County, the court documents say. The church is named as a defendant in that suit.
“It’s time for the truth to be known. It’s time for the Boy Scouts of America to be protected,” Anderson said.
The Boy Scouts of America has been embroiled in an ongoing decades-long sex abuse scandal.
The organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment.