Lawsuit: North Carolina Boy Scouts chapter ignored abuse

North Carolina

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Officials with a Boy Scouts of America chapter in North Carolina did nothing to prevent Scout leaders from sexually abusing 21 children between 1960 and 2010, according to a lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed on Nov. 29 in Forsyth County Superior Court against Old Hickory Council of Boy Scouts of America Inc., the Winston-Salem Journal reported. Another lawsuit filed on the same day alleges that an 11-year-old boy was sexually assaulted multiple times by a Scout leader while on a camping trip in Mount Airy in 1978 and that another Scout leader allowed it to happen.

A third lawsuit filed last year alleges that a Scout leader sexually abused a 14-year-old boy in 1972.

The national Boy Scouts of America entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February 2020 to halt numerous individual lawsuits and create a fund for men who said they were sexually abused as children. Attorneys have announced a tentative settlement under which one of the organization’s largest insurers would contribute $800 million into a fund for victims of child sexual abuse. That agreement is subject to court approval.

Lawsuits such as these likely will be added to a list of similar cases that have been filed in various states recently but which have been put on hold during the bankruptcy case.

“These cases are part of the BSA bankruptcy litigation,” Drew Armstrong, executive director of the Old Hickory Council of BSA, said Tuesday.

“Many of these cases are decades old and prior to the implementation of our current youth protection training and standards,” he said. “While we realize that one incident of abuse is too many, we’ve made great efforts in virtually eliminating these issues in our organization.”

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