Follow us:

The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

August 29, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Boy Scouts of America lawsuit alleges widespread sex abuse

Attorney Tim Kosnoff plays video of unidentified abuse victim known as S.O., during a Seattle news conference Thur. Aug. 29, 2013 to announce state's largest lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America and a slew of alleged abusers. (Photo by Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

Attorney Tim Kosnoff plays video of unidentified abuse victim known as S.O., during a Seattle news conference to announce state’s largest lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America and a number of alleged abusers. (Photo by Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

A lawsuit filed this morning alleges the Boy Scouts of America has known for the last 30 years that there were thousands of pedophiles operating within their camps and troops.

In secret documents —  which the national council refused to share with its own local chapters and troops – the names and deeds of 6,500 known and suspected child molesters were maintained, according to the civil suit filed in King County Superior Court.

In addition to the still existing “perversion files” as they were called by the BSA, an additional 15,000 documents were destroyed, the suit claims.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of 12 victims and names as defendants the national BSA, several local Boy Scout councils and churches and schools that sponsored the local troops. It names 13 alleged offenders, three of whom have been criminally prosecuted.

Timothy Kosnoff, one of the lawyers who filed the lawsuit, says it is the largest of its kind filed in Washington. It alleges that abuses occurred in the Boy Scout-operated Camp Brinkley, Camp Sevenich and Camp Omache in Snohomish County and two camps in Jefferson County between 1960 and 2006.

The youngest plaintiff is now 18, according to the suit.

Kosnoff said the BSA decision to ignore or hide information created a “petri dish” for abuse at the camps.

He said it is highly probable that more boys were victimized by troop leaders in scout settings than by any religious leaders due to the unique nature of the scouting mission. A number of other lawsuits with similar allegations have been filed in Washington over the past several years.

The BSA’s mission to match boys with adult males, often on week-long hikes and camping trips in remote areas , gave offenders unique and unfettered access to victims, the lawsuit alleges.

Comments | More in General news, The Blotter | Topics: Boy Scouts, Boys Scouts of America; lawsuit; King County Superior Court, lawsuit


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►