On January 2020, ECBA filed suit on behalf of Ronald Hernandez Hunter, an eagle scout who was sexually abused by an Assistant Scoutmaster while participating in the Boy Scouts as an adolescent in Bushwick, Brooklyn in the 1970s. As detailed in the complaint, the Boy Scouts amassed a trove of records about rampant sexual abuse in Scouting over the course of decades, but failed to institute policies to protect scouts from abuse. The suit alleges that the Boy Scouts’ negligent approach to selecting and supervising adult volunteers and its deceptive marketing of its programs as a wholesome and safe activity for children allowed Mr. Hunter to be sexually exploited by Assistant Scoutmaster Charlie Acevedo. Acevedo was later convicted of multiple crimes involving child molestation and is now serving a life sentence in prison in Florida.
As ECBA attorney David Lebowitz told the New York Daily News, “Ron’s case is unusually horrific because he was abused so many times over so many years and trafficked into sex work by his Scoutmaster. Sadly, the underlying story is all too common: Ron lost his childhood because the Boy Scouts failed to protect him and other young men from the sexual abuse they knew was rampant in the organization. If they had instituted common-sense rules and procedures, Ron never would’ve suffered this horrible abuse.”
“Many sexual abuse survivors understandably choose to file suit anonymously because of the continuing shame and trauma,” said ECBA partner Debbie Greenberger. “Ron’s bravery stands out—he is bringing this case under his own name because he hopes that by reclaiming his story he will inspire other survivors to come forward. We have brought this case because the Boy Scouts never should have allowed a pedophile like Charlie Acevedo free reign to molest vulnerable boys.”