cloudy.png
Friday November 15th, 2019 11:12AM

Boy Scouts: Handful of sex-abuse cases emerged in 2018

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW YORK (AP) — Under pressure over past allegations of child sex abuse, the Boy Scouts of America defended its current prevention policies on Wednesday and said there were five known victims in 2018 out of roughly 2.2 million youth members.

"Scouting programs today are safe," said Erin Eisner, a chief strategy officer for the BSA and the mother of two scouts. "If I felt for a second that scouting was unsafe, I would not be associated with nor advocate for the BSA."

Eisner, who joined Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh in a telephone news conference, urged the creation of a national registry in which the BSA and other youth-serving organizations could pool information they had gathered about confirmed or suspected predators in order to lessen the chances that any of them could obtain positions working with children. Eisner said the Boy Scouts were collaborating on that project with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The BSA convened the news conference in response to flurry of news reports about abuse-related challenges facing the 109-year-old organization.

Across the U.S., lawyers are recruiting clients to join in sex-abuse lawsuits against Boy Scouts as states have moved to ease statute-of-limitations laws. New York enacted a law earlier this year creating a window for victims of long-ago abuse to file such suits, and several other states are considering such measures.

Eisner and Surbaugh defended the BSA's century-old practice of compiling "ineligible files," which list adult volunteers considered to pose a risk of child molestation. About 5,000 of these files have been made public as a result of court action; others remain confidential.

Minnesota-based lawyer Jeff Anderson, who specializes in sex-abuse litigation, released a court deposition in New York on Tuesday with testimony from Janet Warren, a University of Virginia psychiatry professor hired by the Boy Scouts to review its files. In her deposition, Warren said there were 7,819 individuals in the "ineligible files" as of January, as well as 12,254 victims.

Warren joined in Wednesday's news briefing, describing the BSA's sex-abuse database as "cutting edge' and contending that the organization's rate of reported sex abuse was lower than in society as a whole.

According to the BSA, when any volunteer is added to the database for suspected abuse, they are reported to law enforcement, removed entirely from all scouting programs and prohibited from rejoining anywhere. However, the BSA does not proactively make the names in the database public.

Eisner said doing so in the cases of volunteers who have never been arrested or convicted might raise issues of civil liberties and due process.

But Jeff Anderson, in an emailed statement, rejected the BSA's argument that the database should remain out of public view.

"Through a simple keystroke, they have the ability today to release the names and locations of every offender that sexually abused children," Anderson said. "Absent that, any effort, promise, pledge, practice is falling short of protecting kids."

Past settlements in sex-abuse cases have strained the Boy Scouts' finances, and the burden could worsen if the statute-of-limitations reforms in New York and elsewhere trigger a new wave of lawsuits.

Surbaugh reiterated that the BSA is considering "all available options" and did not rule out the option of seeking bankruptcy protection. He said the BSA is seeking to meet any financial obligations to abuse victims without jeopardizing its ability to serve its youth members.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Trump forms battle plan for post-Mueller probes: Just say no
As House Democrats ramp up their widespread investigations into President Donald Trump, the White House's strategy for responding has been simple: just say no.
6:11PM ( 7 minutes ago )
NYC mayor takes aim at glass towers as energy hogs
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is taking aim at glass and steel skyscrapers as energy hogs but experts say such buildings can also be energy efficient
6:04PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Booker tax returns show income drop, high charitable giving
Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker released 10 years of tax returns, showing his income dipped significantly last year but that he remained generous toward charity
5:54PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Boy Scouts: Handful of sex-abuse cases emerged in 2018
Under pressure over past allegations of child sex abuse, the Boy Scouts of America is defending its current prevention policies
5:08PM ( 1 hour ago )
Cohen says he pleaded guilty to crimes he didn't commit
President Donald Trump's prison-bound former lawyer told actor Tom Arnold last month that he pleaded guilty to some crimes he didn't commit so his wife wouldn't "get dragged into the mud of this crap."
5:02PM ( 1 hour ago )
White presidential hopefuls face 'woke litmus test' on race
Race in America is being addressed directly by white candidates running for the Democratic nomination for president
5:00PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Mysterious fires at ex-mayor's home, City Hall investigated
A small southeast Missouri town has been under a watchful police presence in the week since nearly simultaneous fires hours after the mayor left office burned her home as well as the building that houses City Hall
3:13PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: Crash witness says driver thanked Jesus
A man who witnessed a California crash that injured eight people says when he approached the driver's side of the car, the man was repeatedly saying, "thank you Jesus"
3:08PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: Missing boy's buried body found, parents charged
Authorities say they have found what they believe is the body of a 5-year-old Illinois boy who went missing last week, and that his parents have been charged with murder in his death
3:04PM ( 3 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
California lawmakers advance plan for denser housing
California lawmakers have advanced a proposal to spur more housing near transportation
5:24PM ( 54 minutes ago )
Pete Buttigieg lands 1st endorsement from member of Congress
Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg has received his first endorsement from a member of Congress
4:49PM ( 1 hour ago )
Facebook anticipates an FTC privacy fine of up to $5 billion
Facebook anticipates an FTC privacy fine of up to $5 billion
4:41PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
US eases effects of sanctions on Iran's elite guard force
The Trump administration has carved out major exemptions to new sanctions on Iran's Revolutionary Guard amid fears they may hurt U.S. diplomatic and military cooperation with other countries
2:51PM ( 3 hours ago )
US gives exemptions to sanctions on Iran Revolutionary Guard
The Trump administration has carved out major exemptions to new sanctions on Iran's Revolutionary Guard amid fears they may hurt U.S. diplomatic and military cooperation with other countries
2:21PM ( 3 hours ago )
Scottish leader aims to hold new independence vote by 2021
Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon says she wants to hold a new referendum on independence from the U.K. by 2021 if Britain leaves the European Union, though she acknowledges she lacks the power to make it happen on her own
10:59AM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Trump forms battle plan for post-Mueller probes: Just say no
As House Democrats ramp up their widespread investigations into President Donald Trump, the White House's strategy for responding has been simple: just say no.
6:11PM ( 7 minutes ago )
NYC mayor takes aim at glass towers as energy hogs
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is taking aim at glass and steel skyscrapers as energy hogs but experts say such buildings can also be energy efficient
6:04PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Booker tax returns show income drop, high charitable giving
Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker released 10 years of tax returns, showing his income dipped significantly last year but that he remained generous toward charity
5:54PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Motorist who crashed into pedestrians was retired from Army
California authorities identified the man they say drove into a crosswalk in a quiet Silicon Valley suburb as 34-year-old Isaiah Joel Peoples of Sunnyvale
5:53PM ( 24 minutes ago )
US measles cases hit highest mark in 25 years
U.S. measles cases have climbed to their highest level in 25 years, largely because misinformation is turning parents against vaccines
5:51PM ( 27 minutes ago )