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Boy Scouts file for bankruptcy to pay victims of abuse

Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Boy Scouts of America has filed for bankruptcy amid mounting lawsuits accusing the organization of child sexual abuse.

The organization said it filed for Chapter 11 early Tuesday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware to restructure its finances to compensate victims harmed while under the Boy Scouts' care.

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"The BSA cares deeply about all victims of abuse and sincerely apologizes to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting," BSA President and CEO Roger Mosby said in a statement. "We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to harm innocent children."

BSA said it intends to use its bankruptcy filing to create a trust structure to provide "equitable compensation" to victims and is encouraging those who were victimized while in the Scouting program to file a claim, stating it is the best way to provide compensation while protecting the victims' identities.

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"While we know nothing can undo the tragic abuse that victims suffered, we believe the Chapter 11 process -- with the proposed trust structure -- will provide equitable compensation to all victims while maintaining the BSA's important mission," Mosby said.

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Paul Mones, a lawyer who represents victims alleging abuse by the BSA, said filing for bankruptcy will prevent holding the organization accountable in court, The New York Times reported.

"The justice that they so well deserved will unfortunately escape them in the end, and that is a tragedy," he said.

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The organization, which has struggled recently over declining enrollment, said Scouting programs will continue.

News of the filing comes a week after BSA announced its partnership with 1in6, an organization for male survivors of sexual abuse, which will provide education to assist in training BSA staff.

During a lawsuit last year, the BSA identified nearly 8,000 former leaders who were accused of sexually abusing children over the past 72 years.

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