Over 74,000 sex abuse accusers have come forward to seek their portion of money from the Boy Scouts of America before the Monday bankruptcy court deadline.
According to attorney Andrew Van Arsdale, who will help represent the group Abused in Scouting, the number of accusers alleging sexual abuse claims against the Boy Scouts far exceeds those who came forward to speak out against the American Catholic Church.
“There are over 74,000 claims [for damage] filed as of this morning, and it dwarfs anything we have ever seen in the history of institutional child sexual abuse,” Van Arsdale said Saturday.
Victims must file a money-damages claim against the Boy Scouts in a federal bankruptcy court on Monday before 5 PM, the New York Post reports.
It’s still unclear what the exact number is. Regardless the minimum reported number was 61,000—still an extremely large and disturbing amount of victims who claim they were sexually abused while in the Boy Scouts.
The Boy Scouts had previously reported only 12,000 victims before this development.
“Nothing can undo the damage that the Boy Scouts have caused to tens of thousands of survivors across the nation,” lawyer Jason Amala told The Post. “While the passage of the bar date means survivors can’t file claims against the national organization, there’s still a chance for survivors to secure justice.”
“Child sex abuse survivors in New York, California, and New Jersey can still take action against BSA local councils and sponsoring organizations so that we finally ensure accountability,” he added.
Once the legal case proceeds, the number of victims could change. There’s also the possibility that some victims have unintentionally filed twice.
In February, the Boys Scouts declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy as claims of abuse flooded in. “We are devastated by the number of lives impacted by past abuse in Scouting and moved by the bravery of those who came forward. We are heartbroken that we cannot undo their pain.”
“We are deeply sorry.”