A Manhattan-based law firm released the names of over 7,000 Boy Scout leaders across the country who are being accused of sexual abuse of minors.
Jeff Anderson & Associates released the names Tuesday afternoon, and there are 12 Boy Scout leaders from the Western New York area that are on the list.
Calling it a system of denial and cover-up, the attorney representing victims says the Boy Scouts have files on child abusers going back to the 1940s.
The files show thousands of offenders have been removed, but it's been a secret.
2 On Your Side have all of the local names of perpetrators in the Boy Scouts from Western New York, but they will not be listed for legal purposes. They come from Grand Island, North Tonawanda, Depew, Buffalo and also Lackawanna.
The Boy Scouts of America released a response, saying they apologize to anyone harmed and that they never knowingly allowed a perpetrator to work with youth.
2 On Your Side reached out to the Boy Scouts of America about the list that was released and they provided us with this statement:
"We care deeply about all victims of child abuse and sincerely apologize to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting. We believe victims, we support them, and we have paid for unlimited counseling by a provider of their choice. Nothing is more important than the safety and protection of children in Scouting and we are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to abuse innocent children.
Throughout our history, we have enacted strong youth protection policies to prevent future abuse, including mandatory youth protection trainings and a formal leader-selection process that includes criminal background checks. Since the 1920s, we have maintained a Volunteer Screening Database to prevent individuals accused of abuse or inappropriate conduct from joining or re-entering our programs, a practice recommended in 2007 by the Centers for Disease Control for all youth-serving organizations.
At no time have we ever knowingly allowed a perpetrator to work with youth, and we mandate that all leaders, volunteers and staff members nationwide immediately report any abuse allegation to law enforcement."
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