On Tuesday, a former Boy Scout sued his now-imprisoned former troop leader at the Circuit Court for Cook County, Illinois, for sexually assaulting him when he was 10-years-old. The Boy Scouts of America, and Chicago Area Council Inc Boy Scouts of America have also been included as defendants. The lawsuit claims that the Boy Scouts allowed Thomas Hacker, a leader who was barred from the group in the 70s following a felony sex abuse conviction in Indiana, to rejoin Boy Scouts again in the 80s.
This allowed Hacker to continue to sexually abuse and assault more boys, including the present plaintiff. Hacker was ultimately arrested and convicted in 1989 for aggravated sexual assault of an 11-year-old boy who was member of his troop.
The John Doe lawsuit claims Hacker sexually assaulted the victim when he was only 10 years old, after the Boy Scouts allowed the former sex offender to return to its ranks. Currently, Hacker, 75, is serving two concurrent 50-year prison terms. His conduct was such, that according to a Chicago Tribune story published at the time, even his defense counsel had described him as “a classic pedophile – and sick beyond that.”
In a publicly-issued statement, Boy Scouts of America spokesman Deron Smith said, “While we have not seen this lawsuit, we deeply regret that there have been times when Scouts were abused, and for that we are very sorry and extend our deepest sympathies to victims.”
The lawsuit cited material from documents that were recently released by order of an Oregon court, but kept secret previous to the court order. The Scouts had also opposed at every level the public release of their secret documents, but the courts did not comply.
However, the secret “ineligible volunteer” list, up to 1985 was released, but so far, the Boy Scouts have been successful in keeping the list documenting questionable incidents from 1985 onwards, secret until now. In a recent case involving the latest documents, a Texas appeals court has allowed the Boy Scouts maintain secrecy of their latest perversion files since 1985, albeit for common good.
The issue was challenged in the present lawsuit, which mentions that the Boy Scouts maintain they want the documents kept secret to prevent pedophiles from entering its ranks, but the lawsuit claims the system “did not function s it was intended, was flawed, and in many cases ineffective.”
On Tuesday, Christophe Hurley, the attorney representing John Doe in the instant case said, “The Boy Scouts have taken the view that keeping theses files secret protects the children … but in this case it obviously didn’t work. It may protect the molesters and the Boy Scouts, but it’s not in the best interests of children.”
I definitely feel it was worth having LawCrossing as part of my job search process.
LawCrossing Fact #233: We provide inspirational quotes and testimonials to further motivate you throughout the job-search process.