Boy Scouts’ Future In Question After Explosion Of Sexual Abuse Complaints

Complaints in a federal bankruptcy case could top 100,000 – 10 times the number of complaints against the Catholic Church.

By Laura Rice & Caroline CovingtonNovember 17, 2020 1:15 pm

Over 95,000 people have filed complaints of sexual abuse against the Boy Scouts of America. Monday was the deadline to file claims as part of the Irving, Texas-based organization’s federal bankruptcy case.

Dallas-based reporter Wade Goodwyn has been reporting on the Boy Scouts for NPR. He told Texas Standard that the Boy Scouts has filed for bankruptcy to try to save the organization rather than fighting potentially thousands of lawsuits in court. That bankruptcy case has led to a flood of complaints. He says a new tally on Tuesday could reach over 100,000 men.

The Boy Scouts has a long history of sexual abuse that wasn’t properly dealt with. Goodwyn says the organization kept an internal list of abuse cases but didn’t report them to authorities. About 1 in 10 survivors report sexual abuse, so there are likely hundreds of thousands of men who have or “will take this horrifying abuse to their grave,” he said.

The Boy Scouts’ legacy will likely be forever changed. Its financial future is also uncertain. The bankruptcy court will decide what happens to its over $1 billion in assets, large tracts of land and fine art.

“The bankruptcy court will decide who gets what and how much the Boy Scouts get to keep,” he said.

Monday was the deadline for survivors to file complaints against the organization in the bankruptcy case, but it’s never too late to seek help if you or someone you know has experienced sexual abuse. Call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673), or visit

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