On February 18, 2020, the Boy Scouts of America (“BSA”) filed for bankruptcy amid a wave of allegations of the sexual abuse of minor members. Celebrating its 110th anniversary only weeks prior, the organization’s decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy will affect over 1,700 survivors who have filed or are expected to file claims regarding decades-long sexual abuse.
The BSA has maintained its own internal recording system since the 1920s, which details thousands of acts of misconduct by scout leaders. Known as the Ineligible Volunteer Files (“IV Files”), misconduct reports were organized into five categories; one of the categories included sexual misconduct. These hidden files—nicknamed the “Perversion Files”—were not accessible to the public until their release was court-ordered in 2012. Thereafter, files that detailed abuse between 1965 and 1985 were released and made available for review. Contained within these files was information pertaining to hundreds of scout leaders that engaged in the sexual abuse of minors.
The title “IV Files” would indicate that the individuals who were cited in the files—particularly the “Perversion Files”—would be ineligible to work or volunteer for the BSA in the future. However, investigations revealed that many abusers were not only accepted back into the BSA but were placed in positions that allowed for future sexual abuse.
The widespread pattern of sexual abuse against minors in the BSA has shattered the reputation of an organization that had strived to promote honor and volunteerism for over a century. With the BSA recently filing for bankruptcy, the deadline for filing may be as short as eighty days.
Slater Slater Schulman LLP is dedicated to the confidential representation of individuals who were sexually abused as children while participating in the Boy Scouts of America. The firm is representing over four thousand sexual abuse victims, including one of only nine victims chosen to serve on the Boy Scouts of America Tort Claimants’ Committee. If you or someone you love has suffered this form of abuse and wishes to file a claim, please contact Slater Slater Schulman LLP for a free, confidential consultation by filling out the form on this page or by calling our office at (800) 251-6990.