Matt Stewart used to participate in the Boy Scouts when he was young. He told CBS
he was first molested by the Scout master at the age of six or seven and molested until he was 18 years old. His brother also was molested at the same time. He says it was a tough ordeal and he still has nightmares about it 25 to 30 years later.
A former troop leader Bruce Phelps admitted under oath to having sexual contact with them both at separate times.
Tim Kosnoff, the Stewartsâ€™ attorney has filed a lawsuit against Phelps and the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). During the case, Kosnoff was able to look inside thousands of "secret files" given to him by the Boy Scouts of America. He was shocked at the contents; Kosnoff analyzed the number of offences and found before the 1991, scout leaders were being tossed out for child molestation at the rate of one every three days. After 1991, the rate increased to one every two days.
The BSA did not give precise figures of how many scout leaders were fired but said it was only a small percentage of the tens of millions who served in the Boy Scouts since 1910.
A new policy was enforced at BSA making criminal background checks mandatory for every scout leader hired and adults are prohibited from being alone with a child at all times.
Boy Scouts of America claims it has one of the best child abuse prevention programs in the country, but in 2005 its main leader, Douglas Smith Jr., was sentenced to eight years in federal prison for posting child pornography on the internet.
Matt Stewart told CBS:
The Boy Scouts of America is not a safe place for your boy.
The above statistic is a shocking figure; the Boy Scouts is an incredible experience, but if something is not done to stop this it will become a nightmare for children.
The Boy Scouts of America has implemented safeguards for now, but they and other organizations always do that after letting it happen for a long period of time. I would hope institutions for children would be more proactive next time.
Did you participate in BSA and how was your experience? I used to participate in a similar version but we never had problems like this -- it was an incredible experience for us.