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Lawsuit Targets Boy Scouts For Failing To Stop Sex Abuse

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Thomas HackerCHICAGO (CBS) — Fifteen men who say they were molested as children by a Boy Scout leader in the southwest suburbs have filed a lawsuit in Chicago today against the Scouts.

WBBM’s Regine Schlesinger reports that between 1980 and 1988, the plaintiffs, who were 10 to 12 years old, say they were sexually abused by Scoutmaster Thomas Hacker, a convicted serial pedophile, at a troop in Burbank.

CBS 2’s Courtney Gousman reports, Hacker, who also was a former Chicago Public School teacher, is serving a 100-year prison sentence for numerous sexual offenses committed in Cook and Kendall Counties.

Their lawyer, Chris Hurley, says like earlier scandals in the Roman Catholic Church and at Penn State University, the Boy Scouts Of America did nothing to stop Hacker.

He was still serving as a scout leader when he was arrested in 1988.

He’s now 76 and in prison.

His victims, says Hurley, are damaged for life.

The lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of American and the BSA Chicago Area Council, accuses them of allowing the abuse to go on for years.

“The ultimate, sort of insult that’s occurred is they find out now that the scouts knew about it long before it happened,” said Hurley.

The Boys Scouts of America, say: “In the 30 years since these events took place (the boys scouts) has continuously enhanced its multi-tiered policies and procedures ….”