Personal Injury Blog

Claims of Child Sexual Abuse Resurface Against Boy Scouts of America

Recent changes in legislation that extend the statute of limitations for filing civil claims of sexual abuse bring renewed attention to claims of child sexual abuse against the Boys Scouts of America. While accusations of sexual abuse within the organization date back to 1944, a recent investigation into the organization’s files may uncover additional claims.

Files from Boy Scouts of America gain closer scrutiny

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA), founded in 1910, currently has approximately 2.2 million children and nearly one million volunteers who are members of the organization. The BSA maintained files dating back to the 1940s illustrating that nearly 8,000 volunteers had been excluded from the BSA because of allegations of child sexual abuse. In 2012, a portion of these files were made public during a trial in Oregon against a Scout leader involving allegations of sexual abuse. A recent investigation into the files has shed light on the scope of the reported abuse. The BSA states that every account of suspected abuse within the organization has been reported to law enforcement agencies.

Victims of sexual abuse now have more time to file

All states have statutes of limitation, which are the legal time frames for filing a claim in a state’s court system. The legislation recently signed by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy – which became effective December 1, 2019 – extends the statute of limitations for filing claims of sexual abuse from the current statute of two years from the time the abuse occurred to seven years. New Jersey’s legislation – known as S477 – allows child victims of sexual abuse until the age of 55 years or seven years from when their abuse was discovered to file a sexual abuse claim in the New Jersey courts. The legislation also provides adult victims of sexual abuse seven years from the time of the abuse or from the time the abuse was discovered to file a claim. Furthermore, the legislation sets forth a two-year window for older sexual abuse victims to file a civil lawsuit; those claims may be filed until November 30, 2021.

Victims may now file claims against institutions

This new legislation permits sexual abuse victims to file claims against a wider category of defendant, including institutions, entities, or individuals who were aware of the sexual abuse and either permitted the abuse or provided protection to the sexual abuser. Under this new sexual abuse law, those parties may be held civilly liable.

Compassionate NJ legal team protects your rights and fights on your behalf

The compassionate legal team at the Leonard Legal Group, LLC understands the emotional pain and personal challenges inherent in bringing a charge of sexual abuse against an abuser or institution. Our skilled civil litigators are dedicated to seeking justice for sexual abuse victims. Our team compassionately explains the legal process, answers your questions, and clearly outlines your available options. If you have suffered sexual abuse, we are here to help you get the justice you deserve. Schedule a confidential consultation with a member of our team by contacting our office at 973-984-1414 or scheduling online.