An investigation by Hearst Connecticut Media has uncovered at least 250 people who claim they were sexually abused as children at Boys & Girls Clubs of America affiliates. The abuse was allegedly perpetrated by employees, volunteers, and others at the clubs.
Hearst Connecticut Media researched criminal convictions and lawsuits going back 40 years. The result was a total of 95 abuse cases crossing 30 states.
In addition to sexual misconduct such as rape and sexual abuse, the cases revealed that clubs’ leadership knew about the abuse but did not report it to the police. Additionally, the clubs did not always adhere to national procedures, including doing appropriate background checks.
These allegations, along with those reported on earlier this year by the Boy Scouts of America and the U.S. Gymnastics Team; add to the mounting number of sexual abuse claims against our most vulnerable victims.
National Organization Began Requiring Affiliate Reporting of Sexual Abuse Allegations in 2014
According to WashingtonPost.com, the Boys & Girls Clubs national organization mandated that local clubs share sexual abuse allegations beginning in 2014. Although John Miller, senior vice president of field services for the clubs, declined to share the actual number of reported allegations since then, he estimated few cases that resulted in arrests since 2014 – in the single digits. Miller stated that their “goal is to get to zero” and that there is no single office with a complete list of offenders.
Because some affiliates did not follow established background check protocol, established in 2005 by Boys & Girls Clubs of America, some adults with violent convictions were allowed to have direct contact with children. Some of these allegedly were involved in sexual misconduct.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of America is a nonprofit youth development organization that has been in existence since 1860. Operating with a $100 million annual budget, they serve more than 4.5 million youth each year at 4,600 centers and have a congressional charter to work with at-risk youth.
We Can Help If You Have Been the Victim of Sexual Assault
If you or a family member has experienced bullying, sexual assault, sexual harassment of any kind, or has been injured in an accident or by any other type of personal injury, or needs help with any employment discrimination or family law issue, please contact the Essex County Law Offices of Paul S. Foreman, P.C. immediately. We have the right experience to get the optimal results for your case. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorney Paul S. Foreman, a personal injury attorney in Roseland, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 973-315-3232 or contact us via the website.