82,000+ people have come forward with sex-abuse claims against the Boy Scouts of America, describing a decades-long accumulation of assaults at the hands of scout leaders across the nation.
The claims, which lawyers said far eclipsed the number of abuse accusations filed in Catholic Church cases, continued to mount ahead of a Monday deadline established in bankruptcy court in Delaware, where the Boy Scouts had sought refuge this year in a bid to survive the demands for damages.
Paul Mones, a lawyer who has been working on Boy Scouts cases for nearly two decades, said the prevalence of abuse detailed in the filings was breathtaking and might reflect only a fraction of victims.
“I knew there were a lot of cases,” Mr. Mones said. “I never contemplated it would be a number close to this.”
One coalition of attorneys, operating as Abused in Scouting, has clients from all 50 states along with cases in which the abuse occurred overseas at places such as military bases in Japan and Germany. The accuser’s range in age from 8 to 93.
The Boy Scouts of America said the organization was “devastated by the number of lives impacted by past abuse in Scouting.”