An Eagle Scout symbol that's part of the Boy Scouts of America.

An Eagle Scout symbol that's part of the Boy Scouts of America. / Christian Boone

A Georgia lawsuit alleges the Boy Scouts of America covered up sexual abuse for years. The plaintiffs are two former Boy Scouts, each allegedly abused by the same scoutmaster. The Northeast Georgia Boy Scout Council, two Athens churches, and the estate of the former scoutmaster are also named in the suit. We talked more about the case with Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Christian Boone, and University of California-Irvine professor Peter Ditto.



“The Boy Scouts of America is outraged there have been times when Scouts were abused and we sincerely apologize to victims and their families. Nothing is more important than the safety of our youth members. The BSA maintains a database system to prevent individuals from re-registering in Scouting who were removed because they do not meet the BSA’s standards because of known or suspected abuse or other misconduct either inside or outside the organization. As we have shared in the past, it is a policy of the BSA to promptly report to law enforcement any allegation or suspicion of abuse. In addition, the BSA voluntarily reported all allegations of abuse that predated our mandatory reporting policy. In the more than 40 years since these alleged actions occurred, we have continued to strengthen our efforts to protect youth through policies and procedures to serve as barriers to abuse. These include a thorough screening process, criminal background checks, requiring two or more adult leaders be present with youth, and the prompt mandatory reporting of any allegation or suspicion of abuse. The BSA offers assistance with counseling to any Scout, former Scout, or the family member of any Scout who suffered abuse during their time in Scouting. The BSA has a toll-free help line (855-295-1531) and email contact address ( for these sensitive matters.”