As of Monday night, more than 92,700 sexual abuse claims have been filed against the Boy Scouts of America, a number much higher than lawyers involved in the matter expected.
The Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy in February amid several hundred sexual abuse lawsuits. As part of the bankruptcy proceedings, the organization created a victim compensation fund, with additional claims accepted up until Nov. 16. Lawyer Paul Mones told The Associated Press the number of claims is "mind-boggling. It's chilling in terms of the amount of horror that was experienced."
The Boy Scouts started advertising the deadline in August, and attorney Andrew Van Arsdale with the Abused in Scouting Network said after those ads began running, the number of claimants working with his group doubled. Some of the cases go back to the 1960s, well before the Boy Scouts began having volunteers go through criminal background checks and imposed a rule stating there had to be at least two leaders at all activities.
On Monday, the Boy Scouts of America said in a statement it is "devastated by the number of lives impacted by past abuse in scouting and moved by the bravery of those who have come forward. We are heartbroken that we cannot undo their pain." It's unclear how much the Boy Scouts will have to put into the victim compensation fund, or if local councils will have to contribute.