The Boy Scouts of America’s proposed settlement agreement has received mix reactions from survivors of child sex abuse in the organization, according to a new report by the Associated Press. Under the proposal, the Boy Scouts would contribute $850 million into a compensation fund for former scouts, with possible additional funds contributed by local scout councils.
One attorney representing thousands of child sex abuse victims who have filed claims against the Boy Scouts criticized the agreement’s failure to “press local councils to contribute the bulk of their unrestricted funds,” according to the AP. A former scout with a claim against the organization said the proposal is “a farce” that contains insufficient details about local councils’ finances. On the other hand, a lawyer whose firm is reportedly representing 16,000 child sex abuse survivors described the settlement proposal as “the tip of the iceberg,” noting that the Boy Scouts’ insurers may yet be required by the court “to contribute billions of dollars to the compensation fund.”
Another attorney representing child sex abuse survivors said the settlement agreement leaves many details yet to be figured out, especially with regard to local councils and other local sponsoring organizations like “churches and civic groups,” which may also end up contributing funds to the settlement. This lawyer noted additionally that it’s unclear how much money “will e set aside to cover future claims.”
One unanswered question, according to the Associated Press, is to what extent local councils will be required to sell off their properties to contribute to the fund. One attorney representing victims told the AP that some local councils are limited by “land-use or donor restrictions” in what they can contribute to the settlement fund. Nonetheless, the Boy Scouts’ president and CEO reportedly said that local councils may have to make “a difficult and emotional decision” regarding selling their camps. According to the AP, several local councils have already taken steps to sell their properties, such as the Greater Hudson Valley Council in New York City, which reportedly “placed three of its camps up for sale earlier this year as part of its obligation to the fund.”
For more information on the Boy Scouts proposed settlement agreement with victims of child sex abuse, who may yet vote to reject the proposal, visit the Associated Press.
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