Several states across the United States have recently passed laws extending the statute of limitations for child sex abuse allegations, allowing the victim to come forward to seek justice for crimes committed against them when they were too young to speak up. But while these actions have benefitted residents of those states, it has left those victimized in other states without these extended statutes with no place to turn.
Now the District of Columbia, where the Boy Scouts of America is incorporated and domiciled, has passed its own “window statute”, and this has opened the window to scouts and other victims of childhood sexual abuse from across the country. Eight former Boy Scouts filed claims in D.C. federal court this week, and it is expected that similar actions will be filed by others.
Eight Former Boy Scouts File First Claim
The first of what is expected to be many Boy Scouts of America sexual abuse lawsuits were filed in the D.C. federal court under the new ruling. The plaintiffs are eight now-adult former scouts who all come from states where the statute of limitations rules have not been extended. Tars. he “window statute” opened last May and will only be open for two years. Though all of the extended statutes of limitations laws provide this same type of extension of when claims could be filed against perpetrators or the organizations that they operated within, because of the Boy Scouts headquarters being in Washington, D.C., there is the belief that the district has jurisdiction for actions that occurred anywhere in the country.
The child sexual abuse claim says that the Boy Scouts of America should be “accountable for failing to protect plaintiffs and other boys across the country from rampant sexual abuse” and to “provide a forum in Washington, D.C., for plaintiffs and other abused Scouts to assert claims and receive some measure of justice for the horrific abuse they suffered.” Speaking for the victims, a representative said, “We don’t think the ability to seek compensation should depend on the happenstance of where a victim was abused as a child.”