PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Boy Scouts of America is facing a lawsuit over allegations it covered up hundreds of cases of sexual abuse. Lawyers say the number of cases far outnumber those brought against Catholic clergy.
A group known as Abused in Scouting has filed a lawsuit alleging the organization covered up sexual predators in its ranks.
Lawyers for the group say they’ve identified nearly 800 victims of abuse and they say more are out there.
“The kind of numbers that we’re talking about now dwarf what we’ve seen in the Catholic church cases,” lawyer Tim Kosnoff said.
Michael Nussbaum says he was victimized when he was a Boy Scout.
“Fourteen is a very vulnerable time in your life,” he said.
Nussbaum says he reported the incident to the Boy Scouts, but nobody believed him.
“They dismissed it. They said, ‘Oh, he’s a police officer, he’s well respected,'” Nussbaum explained.
The Boy Scouts of America says it has taken information from the Abused in Scouting group and turned over about 120 reports to local law enforcement agencies.
In a statement to The Washington Post, the Scouts added, “We recognized, however, that there were instances in our organization’s history when cases were not addressed in a manner consistent with our commitment to protect Scouts, the values of our organization, and the procedures we have in place today.”
The Boy Scouts released a video in June designed to teach children how to recognize potentially abusive behavior and report it.
Call 844-726-8871 if you need to access the Boy Scout helpline.