The Boy Scouts of America is facing sexual abuse allegations from hundreds of alleged victims across the country, including eight in San Diego County.
San Diego law firm, AVA Law is working with those in the Abused in Scouting group who filed a lawsuit this week against the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).
The lawsuit claims the BSA conspired to keep incidents of sexual assault a secret. The suit also said the organization and other defendants engaged in reckless misconduct in failing to protect its troops.
“A lot of them for the first time are speaking out and it’s difficult. They have to go back from when they were 10 or 11 years old and recount the most horrific experience of their entire lives,” said San Diego attorney Andrew Van Arsdale.
The lawyers, including Van Arsdale, spoke on Tuesday in Washington D.C. urging other victims to come forward.
“We as a group can start to change things and make sure that the next generation of kids does not have to suffer the way they did,” said Van Arsdale.
The group has received reports of sexual abuse incidents from fondling to rape.
They have identified 350 abusers who are not in the BSA’s own disciplinary files, the attorneys said.
Abused in Scouting lists 27 men from San Diego County as confirmed abusers in the BSA files.
“We need to try to put a stop to this rampant abuse within this organization,” said Van Arsdale.
The BSA said they are reviewing the list of abusers with their own documents and reporting any suspected abuse to law enforcement.
“We immediately investigated the limited information provided and our efforts have already resulted in approximately 120 reports to the lead law enforcement agency in each state with an accusation of abuse,” the BSA said in a written statement. “We have also contacted local law enforcement for all the cases in which enough information was provided to identify the correct agency.”