CHICAGO, IL, October 29, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/
-- The court-ordered release of records from the Boy Scouts of America has revealed a long history of alleged child abuse
within the organization. It's especially troubling because most of these cases involved little or no internal investigation and authorities were rarely notified of the accusations. Files contain nearly 40 suspected abusers in the Chicago area.
One of the Chicago abuse cases involved Gwen Hale. The Boy Scouts of America allowed Hale to become an Illinois scoutmaster even though he was previously convicted of manslaughter. Hale was soon accused of sexually assaulting one of the boys under his supervision, which Hale later admitted to in a civil lawsuit.
Another horrifying case described recurring sexual abuse by Robert A. Schindler. Seven boys from Chicago's western suburbs outlined Schindler's instances of sexual assault through letters they sent to the Boy Scouts of America. The organization's leaders didn't notify police of the alleged crimes and simply kicked him out of Boy Scouts. Unbelievably, the Boy Scouts organization allowed Schindler to later resume volunteering until he molested another boy in McHenry County.
There are 37 more alleged abusers in metro Chicago; most of them have never faced legal accountability because Boy Scout leaders buried the documents evidencing their abuse within the organization's archives in Texas.
Boy Scouts Abuse Victims and Civil Lawsuits
The Boy Scouts molestation files remained hidden from the public for nearly a century. The Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910, but much of the alleged abuse was covered up until a recent Oregon Supreme Court ruling ordered their release. Many of these files evidence abhorrent conduct not only by Scout leaders, but by the organization itself.
One cannot underestimate the amount of courage necessary for a young boy to step forward and speak up about abuse he's wrongly suffered. Sexually abused children often feel ashamed, or even responsible, for the disturbing conduct of adults. The damaging effect of this sexual abuse is only worsened when organizational leaders fail to properly handle the accusations and see that justice is carried out.
The release of the abuse files affords many abuse victims an opportunity to hold their abusers accountable for their heinous acts. While money damages cannot undo the harm and emotional torment caused by the sexual abuse of minors, they allow a victim to receive monetary compensation
for their wrongful suffering. More importantly, the suits allow victims to gain a bit of closure and know that they're helping to prevent future acts of sexual abuse.
In addition to holding abusers accountable, civil lawsuits can hold organizations accountable when their negligence or wrongful actions allowed the abuse to occur or persist. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) will continue defending itself in a barrage of lawsuits alleging that organization officials negligently allowed pedophiles within their organization and failed to act appropriately when the appalling misconduct was brought to their attention.
Healing and Holding Abusers Accountable
If you or your child has been victimized by sexual abuse, now may be the time to come forward and hold the abuser accountable. While Illinois does have time limitations for bringing an injury claim
, known as the statute of limitations, state courts understand the unique nature of sexual abuse involving minors and may allow exceptions to time limits if the delay was reasonable.
The Law Offices of Lane & Lane, LLC
, has experience handling sexual abuse cases involving the Boy Scouts of America and is actively involved in litigation against the BSA, handled by attorneys Mark A. Brown
and Raymond C. Steadmon
. To learn more about Lane & Lane's ongoing scoutmaster abuse case, visit the Chicago Tribune article
discussing the lawsuit.
Lane & Lane proudly helps people who have suffered child abuse. For a free confidential consultation with a skilled Chicago sexual abuse lawsuit attorney, contact us
online at www.lane-lane.com
or call 877-585-7311.---
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