Cincinnati, Ohio personal injury lawyer and sexual assault attorney reviewing Boy Scout abuse lawsuits and sexual abuse statute of limitations as they pertain to sexual abuse cases.
Lawyers have filed a landmark Boy Scout abuse lawsuit in federal court in Washington, D.C., seeking to establish the nation’s capital as the primary venue for men across the country who wish to come forward with sexual abuse claims and sue the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).
Plaintiffs are suing the Boy Scouts for failing to protect them from sexual abuse, allegedly at the hands of scoutmasters and other BSA leaders. The unnamed plaintiffs in the high-profile lawsuit live in states where statute of limitations laws prevent them from suing the Boy Scouts based on sexual abuse claims from decades ago.
Attorneys contend that filing in federal court in Washington is appropriate because the Boy Scouts were incorporated there and later obtained a congressional charter. Along with several other states, the District of Columbia eased its statute of limitations in 2019 to accommodate some sexual abuse claims. Ohio congressmen have discussed the possibility of a similar move in easing sexual assault statute of limitations laws, but have yet to enact any reform.
Joe Lyon is a Cincinnati, Ohio sexual abuse lawyer and personal injury attorney well-versed in complex sexual abuse litigation. Contact The Lyon Firm for a free case review and to discuss your legal options.
The Boy Scouts is currently not commenting on pending litigation, though the organization has issued previous apologies to “anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting.”
The Boy Scouts of America has said that about 7,800 volunteers have been excluded from the organization since they were accused of sexual abuse, the majority of whom walked away without facing any criminal charges or even an official sexual abuse review. The Scouts compiled information on these blacklisted volunteers, and over 55 Ohio former Boy Scout leaders are on the “Perversion file” list.
Some estimates say there have been 12,254 Boy Scout abuse victims since 1944, some of which have been made public during trials of scoutmasters and Scout leaders. Attorneys are still reviewing Boy Scout abuse lawsuits, and victims are encouraged to contact an experienced sexual assault lawyer for a free and confidential consultation.
The current Boy Scout abuse lawsuit contends that the organization knew early on that it attracted pedophiles to apply and serve as adult leaders, yet avoided public acknowledgement of the child hazards and failed to warn its customer base of suspicions.
Furthermore, after sexual assault cases were discovered, the Boy Scouts withheld the information in hopes of keeping a good reputation. Plaintiffs say the Boy Scouts cared more about preserving its name rather than protecting the youth from potential pedophiles.
Plaintiffs are attempting to make their case a national one, and filing in the nation’s capital is as much symbolic as it is practical for victims. Many victims live in states where statute of limitations laws prevent them from suing for sexual crimes that occurred many years ago.
The Boy Scout abuse lawsuit’s plaintiffs live in eight different states — Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Kentucky, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia—each of which has a shorter statute of limitation for sexual abuse than states like New York or the District of Columbia.
The Boy Scouts has been dealing with such complex sexual abuse litigation for many years, and hundreds of other lawsuits are pending, with victims seeking damages. The organization says it’s exploring options to maintain its programs and also compensate victims who were abused as scouts. At the group’s peak of popularity in the 1970s, more than four million boys were Scouts, though that number has dropped significantly in recent years.
If you have been sexually abused as a Boy Scout or as part of a church program, and have questions about the available legal remedies to provide for a better quality of life in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403.