Sexual abuse lawsuit names Leatherstocking Council Boy Scouts of America, New Hartford legion post

A lawsuit filed in NY State Supreme Court names Leatherstocking Council Boy Scouts of America Troop 221 (which does not appear to exist today) and a local American Legion post, as defendants.

Posted: Jul 8, 2021 5:59 PM
Updated: Jul 8, 2021 6:08 PM

A lawsuit filed in NY State Supreme Court names Leatherstocking Council Boy Scouts of America Troop 221 (which does not appear to exist today) and a local American Legion post, as defendants.

The suit claims that the unnamed plaintiff was sexually abused by a Scout employee from 1970-1972, beginning when the child was eight years old. The suit claims the boy would go to the Scout employee's home, where he would be greated by the employee's wife and son, then whisked away to the worker's private study, where he was abused. The suit claims the abuse happened 30 times, between 1970 and 1972, and that the defendants in the suit helped to conceal it by failing to report it.

The New Hartford Legion Post 1376 is named. The suit alleges that the Post obtained a chartger agreement from the Boy Scouts of America and sponsored the troop in question at the time the abuse was occuring. The suit also claims that the troop's meetings were held at the Post. The post did not return a phone call. The Boy Scouts of America issued a statement:

"We are deeply saddened by the pain and suffering that survivors of past abuse have endured and are committed to fulfilling our social and moral responsibility to equitably compensate survivors while also ensuring that Scouting's mission continues. That is why the national organization of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year and continues to work toward a global resolution that will achieve both of these imperatives.

We understand that nothing the BSA does as an organization will undo the pain that survivors have endured, but we have taken important steps in an effort to support survivors' healing process and prevent abuse.

The BSA has partnered with 1in6 — a trusted, independent national resource for sexual abuse survivors — to meaningfully expand the group's online services, so more individuals who suffered abuse in Scouting can anonymously access vital support from trained advocates when and how they need it. Survivors can access these independent services at www.1in6.org/BSA.

About the BSA's Youth Protection Policies:

"While any instance of abuse is one too many, it's important to know that the vast majority of claims in the BSA's Chapter 11 case predate our modern youth protection policies, and that Scouting today is safer than ever before. Specifically, 85% or more of the claims allege a first instance of abuse prior to 1990, and 50% or more of the claims allege a first instance of abuse prior to 1974.

Over many years, the BSA has developed some of the strongest youth protection policies found in any youth-serving organization, which are informed by respected experts in the fields of child safety, law enforcement, and child psychology."

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