Mid-Iowa Council Boy Scouts to pay $2.5M in abuse settlement

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The Mid-Iowa Council Boy Scouts will pay $2.5 million as part of what's believed to be the largest settlement of child sex abuse claims in U.S. history, its CEO Matt Hill told Axios.

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  • Sexual abuse was alleged to have occurred under the Mid-Iowa Council's oversight, Hill said. Most of the claims took place prior to 1980, he added.

The big picture: Tens of thousands of people said they were sexually abused by scout leaders or members over decades in a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America that ended in an $850 million settlement this year.

Context: The BSA filed for bankruptcy protection in February 2020 due to the mounting legal costs associated with multiple sexual abuse lawsuits.

  • The Mid-Iowa Council is among the more than 250 scout councils that'll pay a total of $500 million in cash and properties to compensate victims and help the larger organization financially recover.

Of note: The amount that each local council contributes is based on factors including information in cases filed in the claims process, and how much each could meaningfully contribute while still serving their territory, according to Hill.

  • The Mid-Iowa Council is a legally separate entity from the BSA National Council.

Between the lines: Membership at the Mid-Iowa Council — which provides programs to more than 10,000 kids in 27 counties, including Polk — has dropped about 40% over the last two years. Hill said it's mostly due to the pandemic.

  • National membership has also experienced dramatic declines.

  • No adverse effects to the Mid-Iowa Council's operations are expected because of the settlement, Hill told Jason.

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