HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Five former Hawaii Boy Scouts are among the thousands of victims in the growing Boy Scout sex abuse scandal.
New court documents indicate that more than 7,800 scout leaders nationwide have been removed for the organization over the past seven decades and that there are more than 12,000 victims.
The alleged abusers include Robert Ward, who was a scout master for the Boy Scouts and Hickam Air Force Base during the early 1970s.
“He would go out hiking with the individuals, go out camping ... or go bird watching with the individuals and then take those opportunities to sexually abuse the kids," said attorney Mark Gallagher, who represents three of his victims. Two of them sued the Boy Scouts.
“This was full on sexual contact, fondling and sexual acts of oral nature and anal.”
Ward was not criminally charged and didn’t contest the lawsuit, which were filed decades after the alleged incidents occurred.
The suit was settled out of court and the terms are confidential.
The local Boy Scouts Council had no comment on the case, but said it’s volunteer screening database is designed to keep track of leaders accused of abuse and keep them out of the organization.
“At no time have we ever knowingly allowed a perpetrator to work with youth, and we mandate that all leaders, volunteers and staff members nationwide immediately report any abuse allegation to law enforcement,” the council said in a statement.
But because that database is private, Gallagher says the public doesn’t know how many more perpetrators and victims are out there.