A lawsuit filed Thursday in King County Superior Court alleges that the Boy Scouts of America continues to cover up a culture that ignored serial pedophiles in its ranks.
The suit was filed on behalf of 12 alleged victims and names 13 scout leaders or volunteers accused of sexual assault. The abuses alleged in the lawsuit include multiple instances of rape of boys as young as 11 years old.
Seattle Attorney Tim Kosnoff says some of the allegations date back to the 1960s. Others are as recent as 2005. Kosnoff called the alleged victims, all of whom are former scouts, courageous for coming forward.
“They did what the Boy Scouts of America did not do. They took the public interest seriously," said Kosnoff. "The Boy Scouts of America have continued to deny, minimize and outright conceal the true nature and scope of pedophile infiltration in scouting."
The Boy Scouts of America wouldn’t comment on the suit, but in a written statement said that any instance of child victimization or abuse is intolerable and unacceptable.
Kosnoff said the suit also names a number of local Boy Scout charter organizations, including the Catholic Archbishop of Seattle and the Diocese of Olympia.
“Not because we chose to go after the innocent moms and dads, but because the Boy Scouts of America have positioned themselves legally, and will continue to do so, by denying any responsibility and foisting all of the blame off on people that didn’t have the information," Kosnoff said.
The Boy Scouts have said in previous court cases that the organization has no oversight of local charters.
In a statement, the Archdiocese of Seattle said it has not seen the lawsuit but will review the allegations. The statement added that if it’s determined that there are credible charges of sexual abuse against employees or volunteers, the Archdiocese will work to reach a fair and just settlement with the victim.