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‘Something Terrible Has Happened’

This episode contains descriptions of sexual assault.

When the Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy this year, it created a final window for claims of sexual abuse against the organization’s leaders.

Within nine months, nearly 100,000 victims filed suits — that far eclipses the number of sexual-abuse allegations that the Roman Catholic Church faced in the early 2000s.

Today, we hear from one of the victims, Dave Henson, a 40-year-old naval officer who was sexually abused for five years by one of his scout troop’s leaders. Alcoholism and emotional trauma followed. Now, he has joined the ranks of thousands of people seeking redress.

Guest: Mike Baker, Seattle bureau chief for The New York Times.

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Background reading:

  • The bankruptcy proceedings allowed the Boy Scouts organization to keep operating while it grapples with questions about the future of the century-old movement.
  • The deluge of sex-abuse claims documents a decades-long accumulation of assaults at the hands of scout leaders across the nation who had been trusted as role models.

For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily

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