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7 sex abuse suits filed in NYC against Boy Scouts of America

Lawyers with Jeff Anderson & Associates, who are among the attorneys filing the suits, spoke Tuesday afternoon during a news conference at a midtown hotel, alongside one plaintiff, identified only as David. Jeff Anderson & Associates also filed two cases in Nassau County. (Credit: Todd Maisel)

Seven more lawsuits alleging childhood sexual abuse decades ago have been filed in New York City — this time against the Boy Scouts of America — under a new state law temporarily lifting the civil statute of limitations, the plaintiffs’ attorneys said Tuesday.

The suits, which seek monetary damages, describe conduct against preteens and teenagers by trusted scoutmasters and other adult leaders.

Asked about the suits, the Boy Scouts emailed a statement outlining that, "We believe victims and remove individuals based on only allegations of inappropriate behavior."

The suits are possible because of the new law, which took effect last week. A main provision lasts one year and opens up a so-called look-back period allowing adults, who say they were abused as children sue, regardless of how long ago the conduct is alleged to have occurred.

Lawyers with Jeff Anderson & Associates, who are among the attorneys filing the suits, spoke Tuesday afternoon at a news conference at a midtown hotel, alongside one plaintiff, identified only as "David." Attorneys also filed two cases in Nassau County.

The litigation claims that alleged abusers had established propensities to commit abuse, from which the defendants failed to protect children.

Organizations being sued, including the Catholic Church, had long opposed the legislation, known as the Child Victims Act, arguing that the time frame of allegations hobbles their ability to defend themselves in court.

One of the suits, filed by "David," the pseudonymous plaintiff, says that at least one of the nine accused molesters — former Bronx Scout leader Patrick Mancuso — had been placed in the Scouts' so-called "Ineligible Volunteer" files. Those were the confidential roster kept since the 1920s that were intended to blacklist suspected molesters and others accused of misconduct.

Mancuso did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mancuso was put in the files between six and eight years after the time of plaintiff's allegations. The files, some of which have been made public in other litigation, do not list the alleged victims, and it's unclear whose abuse allegations triggered Mancuso's listing.

Without those files, "I would be living with this wrecked life for however long I have left, and my goal here today is to get them to tell the truth about what they've been concealing for years," David said, from behind a ball cap and sunglasses. "This is an unbelievable number of criminal sexual abuses of children that was concealed by adults."

Anderson said the files show Mancuso's an abuser, and added of the plaintiff: "We can prove it on the strength of his word."

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