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According to the Chicago Sun-Times, “a man who claims he was routinely molested by a scoutmaster in Burbank during the 1980s is suing the Boy Scouts of America and the Chicago Area Council for failing to protect him from the man, who is now in prison.” In this bombshell injury case, Thomas Hacker, a former scoutmaster, who is currently serving a 100-year prison term for molesting a different member of a Boy Scout troop in the 1980s, is now facing new charges. Hacker, who was arrested in Indiana “for sexual assault and battery of boys in 1970” later moved to Illinois and was able to hide his record and become a troop leader once again. An attorney representing the victim on this case issued a written statement declaring that “this is an egregious case of our client being let down by the informal and ineffective system Scouting had in place to protect its members.”
Illinois isn’t the only state in which Boy Scout of America leaders have come under fire this year for hiding records, enabling many comparisons of the recent revelations regarding child abuse and the Catholic Church. This summer, according to the Los Angeles Times, “the Oregon Supreme Court ordered the release of 1,247 confidential Boy Scouts of America files, the first step toward publically lifting the veil on 20 years of alleged child sexual abuse by troop leaders and others within the organization.” The decision came after an Oregon man, who claimed to have been molested by his scoutmasters in the 1980s and accused the Scouts of failing to protect him, won a massive $20 million settlement.
Child molestation suits have different statutes of limitations depending on which state, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). In Illinois, there is a special statue of limitations for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. According to the NCSL, “an action for damages for personal injury based on childhood sexual abuse must be commenced within 10 years of the date the victim discovers that the act of childhood sexual abuse occurred.”
If you or someone you know is seeking a personal injury suit due to child sexual abuse, don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Illinois personal injury attorney today.
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