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As a deadline established in the U.S. Bankruptcy court passed on Monday, reports indicate the Boy Scouts of America now faces more than 90,000 sexual abuse claims brought over alleged misconduct by troop leaders and volunteers that extend back decades.
Boy Scouts of America filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy earlier this year, as it faced a growing number of lawsuits that alleged the organization failed to protect children from individuals with a known history of abusing children, and covered up decades of credible reports of problems.
The court presiding over the distribution of the organization’s assets established a claim deadline of November 16, for individuals who were molested or abused through activities affiliated with the Boy scouts to present their claims.
While it was initially expected there would be about 50,000 claims, reports suggest the final tally may involve nearly twice as many claims, far surpassing the number of sexual abuse claims presented against the Catholic Church in recent decades.
The Boy Scouts of America have issued apologies for the incidents, and ran a national ad campaign to raise awareness of the November 16 deadline. The terms of the bankruptcy proceeding indicate no additional sexual abuse claims will be accepted that were not filed by the Monday deadline.
The advertising campaign reportedly cost the organization nearly $7 million, and ran in newspapers, on television, radio and online in English and Spanish through October 17. In the ads, the Boy Scouts of America admitted abuses and failures to protect children occurred, which some say is the first time the organization has admitted guilt publicly.
Over the past few years, information has emerged that uncovered a long history of the Boy Scouts of America organization burying information about known threats to children by keeping secret “perversion files” on those considered to be sexual predators who had worked with the organization.
Prior information suggested that between 1944 and 2016, there were 7,819 perpetrators nationwide who were either troop leaders or volunteers, believed to have abused at least 12,254 victims. However, it now appears that the scope of the problems in the Boy Scouts was much larger than initially thought.