Two Los Angeles Area Men Allege Boy Scout Leader Abused Them While They Were Young Boys - NBC Bay Area
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Two Los Angeles Area Men Allege Boy Scout Leader Abused Them While They Were Young Boys

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    Two Men Allege Boy Scout Leader Abused Them

    Hundreds of former Boy Scouts say they were sexually abused while in scouting. A lawsuit was filed this summer on behalf of one man who says he was assaulted by a scout leader and now NBC4 is learning more men are coming forward. Lolita Lopez reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 7, 2019. (Published Monday, Oct. 7, 2019)

    Following a lawsuit filed this summer on behalf of one man who says he was assaulted by a Boy Scouts of America scout leader, attorneys tell NBC4 more men are coming forward.

    The I-Team spoke to two men living in the Los Angeles area who say they were molested or sexually abused while they were young boys.

    "He said he was checking for a hernia; he fondled me," Robbie Pierce tells NBC4.

    Pierce recounts a scout camping trip in 1994. He says several boys became sick and a volunteer who worked for the Boy Scout camp examined the boys one at a time.

    "I remember him saying, 'Are you shaking because my hands are cold, or because I'm not a real doctor?' I'll never forget that," Pierce added.

    Confused and embarrassed, Pierce did not tell anyone.

    But, Mark Olmsted says he spoke out about a scout leader, who he remembers slept in a tent with him and other boys.

    "He masturbated me right there," Olmsted said.

    Olmsted says he told his parents who let administrators know. The year was 1970. He says the scout leader came back to the camp after he was reported to the scout administrators.

    NBC4 has not independently verified either of the men's accounts.

    The men have recently contacted the group, Abused in Scouting, who filed the lawsuit alleging negligence by the BSA led to the abuse of young boys.

    The group claims to have identified hundreds of abusers not in the Boy Scouts' own disciplinary files.

    "The Boy Scouts have kept this secret," attorney Tim Kosnoff said.

    BSA said it began an investigation when it received the information from attorneys and if an alleged perpetrator was confirmed, the Boy Scouts notified law enforcement.

    Part of the difficulty in prosecuting sex assault cases is that victims — often don't come forward until years — even decades after the alleged abuse.

    California Gov. Gavin Newsom is set to sign a bill, AB 218 that would extend the statute of limitations for allegations of childhood sexual assault.

    "It opens a window starting Jan 1, 2020 for three years for individuals that were abused and are now over the age of 26 to come forward and hold these institutions who knew or should have known accountable for that," attorney Andrew Van Arsdale said.

    Responding to emails from the NBC4 I-Team, BSA says it supports "some legislation."

    The youth organization, with more than 2.4 million youth participants and nearly one million adult volunteers according to its website says in part:

    "We believe if an organization knowingly concealed or otherwise withheld evidence of wrongdoing, they should be held liable."

    BSA also says they believe and support victims and will pay for counseling-encouraging them to come forward.

    They confirm that "..it is BSA policy that all incidents of suspected abuse are reported to law enforcement ..."

    Facing legal costs, BSA has reportedly said it was considering filing for bankruptcy which could affect lawsuits.

    BSA tells NBC4:

    "The Boy Scouts of America is working with experts and exploring all options available so we can live up to our social and moral responsibility to fairly compensate victims who suffered abuse during their time in Scouting, while also ensuring that we carry out our mission to serve youth, families and local communities through our programs. No decisions have been made and we continue to fully meet our financial obligations to our vendors, creditors and other stakeholders."