WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - The Boy Scouts of America are urging victims to come forward after the 110-year-old organization filed for bankruptcy protection in the first step toward dealing with a barrage of sexual abuse lawsuits.
The filing Tuesday in Wilmington, Delaware, is an attempt to work out a potentially mammoth compensation plan for abuse victims that will allow the 110-year-old organization to carry on.
The Scouts plan to create a huge fund for potentially thousands of men who were molested as youngsters decades ago by scoutmasters or other leaders.
It could be one of the biggest, most complex bankruptcies ever seen.
The filing puts the lawsuits on hold for now. Scores of lawyers are seeking settlements on behalf of several thousand men who say they were molested as boys by scout leaders decades ago.
The Boy Scouts could be forced to sell off some of their vast property holdings, including campgrounds and hiking trails, to raise money for a victims’ fund that could top $1 billion.