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Two child sex-abuse lawsuits filed in Nassau against Boy Scouts organization

Two more lawsuits alleging childhood sexual abuse decades ago have been filed in Nassau County — this time against the Boy Scouts of America — under a new state law temporarily lifting the civil statute of limitations, the plaintiffs’ attorneys said Tuesday in Manhattan. Credit: Todd Maisel

Two more lawsuits alleging childhood sexual abuse decades ago have been filed in Nassau County — this time against the Boy Scouts of America — under a new state law temporarily lifting the civil statute of limitations, the plaintiffs’ attorneys said Tuesday. 

In one suit, plaintiff William Moran alleges that he was sexually abused from about 1968 to 1972 when he was between 11 and 14 years old by then-scoutmaster Jerry Hayes, while involved with the Boy Scouts with what is now the Theodore Roosevelt Council and Troop 258 at House of Hope Presbyterian Church in Bellerose.   The council, the Boy Scouts, the church and others are named as defendants in the suit.  

In another suit, a plaintiff using a fictitious name claims then-Scout troop leader Robert Izzo sexually abused him between about 1986 and 1989 when the plaintiff was between 8 and 12 years old. The alleged conduct occurred through a troop connected to Hicksville’s Dutch Lane Elementary School, which along with the Boy Scouts is named as a defendant in the suit.  

Asked about the suits, the Boy Scouts of America did not comment directly but emailed a statement outlining how "We believe victims and remove individuals based on only allegations of inappropriate behavior."

The other defendants couldn’t be reached for comment. 

The cases are among what is expected to be a torrent of suits triggered by the Child Victims Act, a sweeping piece of legislation enacted by New York lawmakers this year. It includes a one-year “look back” period that essentially suspends statute of limitations conditions for filing molestation claims. Those who allege they were victims of abuse have one year to file a civil lawsuit no matter how long ago the alleged abuse occurred.

Lawyers with Jeff Anderson & Associates of Manhattan, who are among the attorneys filing the suits, declined to say where the plaintiffs live now. 

The attorneys also filed seven other lawsuits against the Scouts, alleging sexual abuse in New York City. The nine suits were filed Monday night and Tuesday morning. 

The litigation claims that the alleged abusers had established propensities to commit sexual abuse, and that the Scouts and the other organizations failed to protect the plaintiffs. 

One of the lawsuits, filed by a plaintiff under a fictitious name, says that at least one of the nine accused molesters -- former Bronx Scout leader Patrick Mancuso -- had been placed in the Scouts' so-called "Ineligible Volunteer" files. Those were the confidential documents kept since the 1920s that were intended to blacklist from Scouting suspected molesters and others accused of misconduct.

Mancuso was placed in the files between six and eight years after that plaintiff's allegations are said to have occurred, in the early 1970s. The files, some of which have been made public in other litigation, do not list accusers,  Anderson said. It's unclear in the suit whose abuse allegations triggered Mancuso's listing. 

Anderson said the files show Mancuso's an abuser, and "we can prove it on the strength of his word," referring to his client.

Izzo, who died in prison in 2002, was a Hicksville bus driver convicted in February 1991 of  35 counts of sodomy, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child for molesting three boys who were members of Izzo's Boy Scout troop, and a fourth boy whose family he befriended.

He was also convicted of molesting 16 then-kindergartners in the late 1980s.

In 1996, a Mineola jury found in Izzo's favor in a civil case brought by some of the victims seeking damages.

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