According to newly released court documents, a sexual abuse expert who has been investigating the Boy Scouts of America believes there have been at least 7,819 troop leaders and volunteers accused of misconduct against scouts.
Those 7,819 individuals are believed to have abused about 12,254 victims.
Attorney Jeff Anderson released these figures on Tuesday. His firm represents victims of sexual abuse. He has also investigated numerous cases involving religious clergy.
The court documents pertain to a January trial involving child sex abuse at the Minnesota children's theater company.
Dr. Janet Warren, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia’s medical school, testified that she has been making "private contact" with the Boy Scouts of America for about five years in an effort to evaluate their handling of sexual abuse cases between 1944 and 2016.
Warren's testimony revealed her team works with the group's ineligible volunteer files (a.k.a. - "the perversion files").
Warren says those files contain details about the 7,819 individuals accused of sexual misconduct against children.
About 130 of those individuals are currently in New York state and could face prosecution, according to Warren.
The Child Victims Act, passed earlier this year in NY state, allows claims of sexual abuse from any time period to be brought to trial despite previous statutes of limitations.
The Boy Scouts of America released the following statement to ABC News:
“We care deeply about all victims of child abuse and sincerely apologize to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting. We believe victims, we support them, and we have paid for unlimited counseling by a provider of their choice. Nothing is more important than the safety and protection of children in Scouting and we are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to abuse innocent children.”
The Boy Scouts of America have maintained a Volunteer Screen Database since the 1920s but it that system is clearly flawed.
This news serves as one more great reminder to never let mysterious people spend time alone with your children.
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