WASHINGTON – Lawyers representing Boy Scout sexual abuse victims called on Congress to act in a Washington, D.C., Tuesday press conference.
The Abused in Scouting (AIS) legal team announced their first case filed against the Boy Scouts of America at a Washington, D.C., press conference, claiming that there has been thus far no Congressional oversight involved in the massive sex abuse scandal within the Boy Scouts.
The lawsuit was filed Monday in Pennsylvania and the plaintiff, who has remained anonymous, alleges that he was assaulted hundreds of times by a scout leader in the 1970’s. (RELATED: Boy Scouts Of America Wants A Suspected Sex Offender Registry For ‘Youth Serving’ Organizations To Share)
The file contains the names of over 300 alleged sex abuse predators from 48 states and the District of Columbia. North and South Dakota are the only states that have not spoken out to the AIS team, the lawyers said Tuesday.
“Each one of these 350 abusers has probably dozens of other victims who have not come forward,” lawyer Stewart Eisenberg told reporters.
The legal team told those gathered that over 800 abuse survivors between the ages of 14 and 88 have revealed tales of abuse to AIS after the organization began running nationwide ads encouraging survivors of abuse to speak out.
Lawyer Andrew Van Arsdale spoke to the courage of those who have come forward thus far, saying that their decision to speak out is no easy one. These men “can still smell the scent of the man who crawled into their sleeping bag,” Arsdale told reporters. But Arsdale pointed out that AIS’s video calls on survivors to protect children by identifying their abuser, and that after abuse victims had seen the video, “the phones calls didn’t stop.”
Lawyer Tim Kosnoff told reporters that the number of persons who have reported allegations to AIS exposes the Boy Scouts as “the largest pedophile ring on earth.”
The key problem with the amount of abuse within the Boy Scouts of America, Kosnoff says, lies in that those who run BSA “historically place more emphasis on themselves.” Kosnoff specializes in complex child sexual abuse cases against religious and secular organizations.
Kosnoff explained that despite the fact that abuse within the BSA has been rampant for decades, there has been no Congressional oversight. As far back as 1910, Kosnoff said, the Boy Scouts kept records of accused predators. In the 1970’s, Boy Scout employees began destroying evidence of sexual abuse if the victim was 80 years old or older.
“This kind of abuse dwarves what we have seen in the Catholic Church cases,” Kosnoff told reporters.
Kosnoff also explained that the distribution of sexual abuse allegations pretty much corresponds to the populations. “You will see more files in states with bigger populations,” Kosnoff said, adding that they have not received allegations from North or South Dakota. Kosnoff said that they have received a large number of allegations from California, Texas, and Florida – states with the largest populations, and from North Carolina.
“This is quantitatively and qualitatively different than anything that has been done before,” Kosnoff said. “And we are just getting started.”
The legal team also said that they are waiting to disclose the names of the abusers in hopes that more victims will come forward first.
The Boy Scouts of America did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.