Boy Scouts Clamp Down on Sex Abuse

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The Boy Scouts of America appear to be taking child molestation more seriously after settling a $20 million lawsuit, according to Youth Today.

In the 1980s, former Assistant Scoutmaster Timur Dykes was convicted in Oregon of abusing Boy Scouts, including former Scout Kerry Lewis. Lewis filed suit against the BSA for failing to act on “the perversion files,” confidential files that red-flagged potential molesters in Scouting.

Five other victims of Dykes have also filed lawsuits against the BSA. Lewis, the first to be awarded, received $1.4 million for negligence and $18.5 million in punitive damages in April. The BSA still refutes the verdict and plans to appeal.

In June, however, the organization required all volunteers to undergo sex abuse training after years of refusing to do so. In July, the BSA hired former detective Michael Johnson as its full-time youth protection director. Johnson has experience in investigating child abuse and in training others in child abuse investigations.

The BSA doesn’t link these changes to the trial, but Lewis and his lawyers insist that without their litigation, nothing would have changed.

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