Boy Scouts of America Sexual Abuse Victims Seek Justice in Bankruptcy Court


November 13, 2020

By Wade Goodwyn

The Boy Scouts of America are in the midst of a legal action that could threaten the very existence of the iconic, century-old institution. The Scouts declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February after thousands of allegations of child sexual abuse perpetrated by scoutmasters. The scope far exceeds the scope of American Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal — the number of abused Boy Scout claimants is more than 60,000 men. And that number could rise before Monday’s deadline to file a claim.

In the summer of 1977, Frank Spinelli was a young boy and lived on Staten Island with his mom and dad and two sisters. His parents were Italian immigrants, devoutly Catholic and eager for their children to become successful Americans. One weekend, the family went to the Staten Island Mall, where there just so happened to be, a Boy Scout Jamboree.

“And my parents, particularly my mother, thought it would be really good if I joined the Boy Scouts because my father worked two jobs at the time and she thought it would be really good for me to be around boys,” Spinelli recalls.

At the mall was the scoutmaster for Troop 85, a man named Bill Fox, he was a New York City police officer. And although Spinelli was a few months shy of being old enough to join the Scouts, the officer took an interest in the boy immediately.

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