April 23, 2019
Shocking Expert Testimony: 7,800+ Alleged Child Sex Abusers in Boy Scouts
Expert Testimony, Names of More Than 180 Boy Scout Leaders Accused of Sexual Abuse in New York and New Jersey, Released at Press Conferences
Attorneys Call on Boy Scouts to Release Names and Files of All Abusers
(New York & Newark)– The disturbing magnitude of child sexual abuse in Boy Scouts – in New York, New Jersey and nationwide – was the focus of press conferences today in Manhattan and Newark.
Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has documented that 7,819 BSA adult leaders were accused of sexually abusing 12,254 victims from 1944-2016, according to an expert who testified in a child sexual abuse trial in January. The expert testimony was discussed at the press conferences today by attorneys with Jeff Anderson & Associates, a law firm that represents survivors of child sexual abuse.
“These numbers are staggering and tragic,” said attorney Jeff Anderson after the press conferences. “We believe that the actual numbers of Boy Scout perpetrators and victims are much higher, unfortunately. We call on the Boy Scouts to publicly release the names and files of all Boy Scout perpetrators.”
Dr. Janet Warren, a professor at the Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy at the University of Virginia Medical School, provided expert testimony in a child sexual abuse trial in Minneapolis in January. Dr. Warren testified that BSA hired her to review all of BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer (IV) files for BSA leaders alleged to have sexually abused minors from 1944-2016 to evaluate the problem of child sexual in Boy Scouting. It took Warren and her team five years to review the 7,819 IV files for the accused Scout adult leaders and identify more than 12,000 victims. Warren’s numbers were not previously known publicly before today or revealed by BSA.
Since approximately 1920, BSA has maintained these files, also known as “perversion files,” internally to document individuals whose Boy Scout registrations were revoked because of allegations of child sexual abuse.
Today, Jeff Anderson & Associates identified more than 130 Boy Scout leaders who worked in New York and were named in BSA perversion files as having sexually abused minors. The firm also identified 52 such Boy Scout leaders who worked in New Jersey.
"This is about the institution failing to do the right thing. Failing to disclose the names,” said New Jersey attorney and survivor advocate Greg Gianforcaro. “It shouldn't be us disclosing these names – it should be the institutions. It should be the BoyScouts of America."
The perversion files illustrate BSA’s longstanding knowledge of child sexual abuse in scouting. Through litigation, courts across the country have ordered the public release of some of these files. Many more have not been released and remain secretly held by BSA, the result of denial and cover-up by BSA, Anderson said. That means the public is not aware of these perpetrators and children are in danger, he said.
“The Boy Scouts have to do more,” Anderson concluded. “They have to identify the truth of their own involvement and the magnitude of the decisions they made – and that is identify every offender they know exists in their files and is out in communities. They have to be accountable."
Anderson plans to file lawsuits against BSA in New York on behalf of survivors under New York’s new Child Victim’s Act, which goes into effect August 14. New Jersey lawmakers are considering similar legislation.
Visit our website for more information on the New York and New Jersey BSA events and documents.