Two Minnesota men are filing a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America for alleged abuse more than 40 years ago. Steven Josephson and David Lundquist were both scouts in St. Paul troops in the late 60s and early 70s, when they claim they were molested by their respective scout leaders.
Both scout leaders have since passed away. Josephson and Lundquist are now looking to hold the Boy Scouts responsible for the abuse.
Thursday, the men filed lawsuits in Ramsey County seeking damages from the Boy Scouts and also asking the court to force the scouts to open up their so-called "perversion files" on suspected pedophiles who worked for or volunteered with the national organization.
Attorney Jeff Anderson is making the argument the scouts are very much like the archdiocese, and should be compelled to share information on those accused of abusing children.
Statement from the Northern Star Council of the Boy Scouts of America
The safety of our youth members is our primary concern and we are profoundly saddened when anyone uses their position to harm any child. The BSA extends its deepest sympathies to any person who has been hurt by child sexual abuse.
Today, the BSA seeks to prevent child abuse through a comprehensive program of education on the subject, the chartered organization leader selection process, criminal background and other checks, policies and procedures to serve as barriers to abuse, and the prompt reporting of any allegation or suspicion of abuse to law enforcement.
When learning of allegations against these volunteers in 1970 and 1971, the BSA removed them from the organization and placed them in the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer Files, which precluded their further participation in the program nationwide. All Ineligible Files have been shared with law enforcement and the keeping of such confidential lists is described by the CDC as a best practice today.
Recognizing youth protection requires sustained vigilance, in the more than four decades since these removals took place we have continued to develop and enhance our efforts to protect youth, regularly consulting with experts from law enforcement, child safety, psychology, and other disciplines to ensure that our efforts consistently evolve along with the ever-changing awareness of the dangers and challenges facing youth.
Third party studies show that Scouting is one of the safest places for children in the community.
Additional background and local information is available on our website: www.northernstarbsa.org