Thousands of people all over the U.S. are now filing lawsuits against the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) for sexual abuse. If you or your child was a victim of abuse while in the Boy Scouts, you may be entitled to financial compensation.

Your right to sue the Boy Scouts for Molestation

While the BSA recently urged victims to come forward as the organization filed Chapter 11 in hopes of surviving the barrage of child sexual abuse lawsuits coming against them, the deadline for filing claims may end soon. Specific deadlines will be up to the court. The amount of money victims will receive will likely depend on what assets are turned over by the organization and how many come forward. Contact an attorney as soon as possible in order to find out what your legal options are.

Statute of Limitations on Boy Scout Child Sexual Abuse Cases

A recent lawsuit is working to extend the statute of limitations that will allow boy scout sex abuse claims, even if the statute of limitations has already expired in a state. Several states have already eased their statute of limitations as of 2019, including:

  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • California
  • District of Columbia

Boy Scout Sexual Abuse Map

As the map above shows, thousands of people all over the U.S. have reported sexual abuse by someone in the Boy Scout organization. Larger circle sizes indicate cities where cases of sexual abuse have been documented, but there are certainly many, many more that have gone unreported and many not represented on this map.  The brighter clusters of colors show regions of the country where much of the abuse has taken place over the years.

In the past, many adults who were finally ready to come forward and seek justice after being sexually abused as children found it was too late to do so because of the statute of limitation laws. A lookback window gives abuse survivors a chance to bring a claim that was previously barred by such statutes.

Several states now have such laws in place. Some states have provided a two-year lookback (D.C. and New Jersey) while California is offering a three-year period beginning in January of 2020. Vermont is one state that has completely abolished the statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse cases.

Other states that have opened up lookback windows:

  • Arizona
  • Montana
  • Hawaii
  • North Carolina

How could the Boy Scouts of America allow this sexual abuse to happen?

Like other organizations entrusted with the safety of our youth, the national organization of the Boy Scouts of America was once a trusted organization with millions of members. They betrayed that trust when they protected the abusers instead of the abused.

From years of confidential files kept hidden by the BSA, it was discovered that officials within the organization urged sexual offenders to “quietly” resign as a way of preventing scandals of sexual abuse. According to the L.A. Times investigation of the case, most of the allegations of abuse against adult leaders were never placed into the legal system; they were never reported to police at all.

Are you entitled to sue the Boy Scouts of America and receive compensation?

If you were inappropriately touched by a scoutmaster, shown pornography, forced to participate in or watch sexual acts by an adult while under their care, you certainly may have a case. Such acts constitute a breach of responsibility and expose the individual and organization to liability for injuries and damages for illicit misconduct.

Several such abuse lawsuits have already taken place. Like other lawsuits seeking punitive damages against organizations such as the Catholic dioceses and U.S.A. Gymnastics, civil lawsuits were also being explored against the BSA for its part in failing to prevent child abuse.

Is my case confidential?

Your consultation is always confidential. Abuse victims should never remain silent. Sexual predators should not remain unpunished. Contact an attorney today to seek justice for the crimes committed against you or your loved one.

Additional Information on the Boy Scouts of America Lawsuits and Bankruptcy

Until February 2020 when the organization filed bankruptcy, Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was the largest youth organization in the United States. Established in 1910, BSA was modeled after its Britain counterpart, the Boy Scout Association.

The national organization of the BSA included multiple programs, including Cub Scout packs, Webelos, Blazer Scouts, Sea Scouts, Explorer Scout posts, Boy Scout troops, and a number of other partner programs.

For the most part, men organized camping trips for young boys; volunteers who, in their off hours, promised to model manhood and to teach boys to grow into responsible leaders of the community. During the day, most worked as teachers, lawyers, police officers, or were retired Scouts themselves.

Now, 110 years later, the organization has declared bankruptcy due to the ever-mounting lawsuits against it for  the sexual assault of countless children. While one expert estimated that between 1944 and 2016, at least 7,800 suspected assailants had sexually abused 12,254 boys, she also testified that these numbers were likely a “gross underestimation” of the real numbers of boys actually harmed.

Based on the “Perversion Files” containing information on approximately 5,000 BSA suspected child abusers, the circles on the map above indicate the location of troops connected to those accused of abuse.

Boy Scouts Sexual Abuse

The Perversion Files

For nearly a century, the BSA knew it had a problem. It knew that scout leaders were preying on boys under their protection and that they were doing nothing about it. They knew that they were not bringing these predators to justice or getting the boys the help they needed. They knew it, and locked those secrets away in a place called the Perversion Files (it was actually called the ineligible volunteer file).

Kept since around 1920, the system was used so that known abusers could not rejoin scouting, and while the rationale was to “protect boys,” the system failed in that it kept the abusers’ secrets and never addressed the damage that could be done to other boys in the future or to the victims themselves.

Sadly, there was never a change of heart that brought these files to light, but an order of the court that made them public in 2012.

The problem of sexual abuse has obviously been rampant in this organization, with thousands and thousands of victims reporting some form of sexual assault over the years.

Over 110 Years of Hidden Sexual Abuse

  • By 1920, the BSA began compiling reports of volunteers who were “ineligible to serve” as boy scout leaders due to claims of sexual abuse.
  • In 1935, the son of President Roosevelt gave a speech mentioning the boy scout’s Red Files. These were records of child molesters in the Boy Scouts. The BSA had already admitted to removing thousands of abusers by that time.
  • By 1971, many who worked in Scouting were still unaware that BSA was tracking and keeping secret records of sexual abusers. That’s because organization executives were destroying thousands of names from these Perversion Files if they were deemed outdated, which they eventually admitted to doing. If the abuser was 80+ years, for example, or deceased, the BSA destroyed the abuser’s file.
  • In 2007, six men sued the Boy Scouts, claiming they had been abused by an assistant scoutmaster in the 1980s. For the first time, thousands of internal records came to light. It was during this trial that the scope of the sexual misconduct within the organization became apparent.
  • In 2010 in Portland, Oregon, attorneys won a verdict against the BSA that resulted in the release of the Perversion Files that had been kept secret for 90 years.
  • In 2012, after that landmark trial, 1,200 secret files dating from 1965 to 1985 were released to the public. Investigators found that rather than reporting predators to the police, Scouting officials quietly urged them to resign, covering their tracks.
  • By early 2020, with thousands of lawsuits against them for child sexual abuse, the Boy Scouts of America was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. At that time, they listed assets up to $10 billion. 

Total Documented Cases by City

The numbers are much greater than the data below shows. These counts show totals from the only publicly documented database produced by the LA Times. The team at analyzed the data and created totals by city and state. The table below shows any city where there were 5 or more cases of abuse.

Reported Cases City State
53 Chicago Illinois
41 Houston Texas
38 Kansas City Missouri
30 St. Louis Missouri
30 Rochester New York
27 Portland Oregon
24 Springfield Massachusetts
22 Brooklyn New York
22 Philadelphia Pennsylvania
22 Indianapolis Indiana
22 Jacksonville Florida
22 San Antonio Texas
21 Dallas Texas
20 Tucson Arizona
19 Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
19 Lincoln Nebraska
19 Toledo Ohio
17 Detroit Michigan
17 Miami Florida
17 Wichita Kansas
17 Long Beach California
16 Rockford Illinois
16 Lancaster California
16 Columbus Ohio
16 Denver Colorado
16 Baltimore Maryland
16 Worcester Massachusetts
16 San Diego California
16 Alexandria Virginia
15 Milwaukee Wisconsin
15 Providence Rhode Island
15 Charlotte South Carolina
14 Akron Ohio
14 Seattle Washington
14 San Jose California
14 Norfolk Virginia
14 New York New York
14 Spokane Washington
14 Syracuse New York
14 Independence Missouri
14 Cleveland Ohio
14 St. Paul Minnesota
13 Atlanta Georgia
13 Marion New York
13 Tacoma Washington
13 Richmond California
12 Orlando Florida
12 Columbia South Carolina
12 Boise Idaho
12 New Orleans Louisiana
12 Burlington North Carolina
12 Orange Texas
11 Staten Island New York
11 Tampa Florida
11 Phoenix Arizona
11 Omaha Nebraska
11 Wilmington Delaware
11 Salt Lake City Utah
11 New Port Richey Florida
10 Salem Oregon
10 Ft. Collins Colorado
10 Liberty Missouri
10 Newark Delaware
10 Nashville Tennessee
10 Buffalo New York
10 Washington District of Columbia
10 Ft. Worth Texas
10 York Pennsylvania
10 Eugene Oregon
10 Elmira New York
9 Memphis Tennessee
9 Tulsa Oklahoma
9 El Paso Texas
9 Manhattan New York
9 Virginia Beach Virginia
9 Manchester New Hampshire
9 Queens New York
9 Orem Utah
9 Farmington Missouri
9 Austin Texas
9 Greenville South Carolina
9 Belleville Illinois
9 Cincinnati Ohio
9 Santa Ana California
8 Waterloo Iowa
8 Newton Kansas
8 Los Angeles California
8 Gainesville Florida
8 Huntington West Virginia
8 Louisville Kentucky
8 Las Vegas Nevada
8 Minneapolis Minnesota
8 Westminster Colorado
8 Amarillo Texas
7 Cedar Rapids Iowa
7 Midland Texas
7 Milford Connecticut
7 Benton Arkansas
7 Dover Delaware
7 St. Joseph Illinois
7 Appleton Wisconsin
7 Warren Ohio
7 Lubbock Texas
7 Dubuque Iowa
7 Decatur Illinois
7 Anchorage Alaska
7 Wichita Falls Texas
7 Vancouver Washington
7 Berwick Pennsylvania
7 Schenectady New York
7 Grants Pass Oregon
7 Riverside California
7 Colorado Springs Colorado
7 Lafayette Louisiana
7 Raleigh North Carolina
7 Centerville Indiana
7 St. Charles Illinois
6 Arlington Texas
6 Aiken South Carolina
6 Boulder Colorado
6 Montgomery Alabama
6 Sacramento California
6 Lakeland Florida
6 Santa Monica California
6 Port Huron Michigan
6 Kennewick Washington
6 Garland Texas
6 Lake Charles Louisiana
6 Pueblo Colorado
6 Honolulu Hawaii
6 Boston Massachusetts
6 Modesto California
6 Sparks Nevada
6 Albany Georgia
6 Evansville Indiana
6 Longview Texas
6 Wacousta Michigan
6 Greenfield Illinois
6 Huntington Beach California
6 Warner Robins Georgia
6 Monroe Wisconsin
6 Des Moines Washington
6 Sheboygan Wisconsin
6 Norwalk California
6 Lexington Kentucky
5 Binghamton New York
5 Snohomish Washington
5 Longmont Colorado
5 Somerset California
5 Canton Ohio
5 Winona Minnesota
5 Athens Georgia
5 Shreveport Louisiana
5 Oakland California
5 Orange Park Florida
5 Provo Utah
5 Florence South Carolina
5 El Cajon California
5 Albuquerque New Mexico
5 Tuscaloosa Alabama
5 Fremont Ohio
5 Plano Texas
5 Granite City Illinois
5 San Angelo Texas
5 St. Petersburg Florida
5 Biloxi Mississippi
5 Hampton Virginia
5 Green Bay Wisconsin
5 Lebanon Missouri
5 Mesa Arizona
5 Newport Kentucky
5 Cape Coral Florida
5 Franklin Tennessee
5 Elkton Maryland
5 Waukesha Wisconsin
5 Harrisburg Pennsylvania
5 Ft. Lauderdale Florida
5 Quincy Massachusetts
5 Saginaw Michigan
5 Batavia Illinois
5 Olathe Kansas
5 Winston-Salem North Carolina
5 Fresno California
5 Smyrna Georgia
5 Reading Pennsylvania
5 Ashland Oregon
5 Everett Washington
5 Savannah Georgia
5 Sarasota Florida
5 Utica Michigan
5 Jackson Michigan
5 Fayetteville North Carolina
5 New Haven Connecticut
5 Cambridge Illinois
5 St. Cloud Minnesota

Do you have a case?

Being preyed upon as a child is never your fault. Your story deserves to be heard. Abusers who take advantage of and prey upon children need to be punished. Don’t wait, though, as the time to file claims before the opportunity passes is gone forever.

Who Do You Call for Help? 

Contact us today and we will connect you with the best lawyers in the country to help you figure out if filing a lawsuit is the best option for you. You are able to remain anonymous to the public even if you file a lawsuit.



CBS News. (2020). New lawsuit could allow boy scouts to file sex abuse claims even if the statute of limitations has expired in their states.

Crary, D., & McCombs, B. (2020). Boy scouts seek bankruptcy, urge victims to sept forward.

Dockterman, E. (2019). These men say the boy scouts’ sex abuse problem is worse than anyone knew.

Kline, J. (2009). Child sexual abuse in the boy scouts of America, 1970-1984.

McCoy, K. (2020). Child sexual abuse survivors deal with bankruptcy, old evidence after laws extend statute of limitations.

New York Times. (2012) The ‘perversion files’ come to light.

Wikipedia. (2019). Boy scouts of America sex abuse cases.