Larry Akers is among the thousands of people who filed civil lawsuits against the Boy Scouts of America before the deadline this week.
He was only was 9 years old when a Boy Scout leader from the neighborhood troop in Hamilton, began giving him extra private attention.
At the time, Akers had recently lost his father, so he felt special when the troop leader invited him to sleepover.
Akers, now age 60, was confused and uncomfortable when the leader started touching him, but without a dad at home to talk to, he would just ignore the warning signs. It’s taken him decades to confront the memories. He says a man and the Scout leader would take boys camping and touch them at night.
“It made me a very angry person. I kept drinking and it held me back from setting goals in my life and being the man I wanted to be,” said Akers, “It basically destroyed me.”
Akers is one of more than 200 men from Maryland who filed claims this week against the Boy Scouts of America, claiming they were sexually abused decades ago by scoutmasters and BSA volunteers. These victims claim that when they were children, BSA men would sneak into their tents at night and sexually assault boys during weekends away in the woods.
The grown men who would abuse these children would dismiss the issue after the incident by claiming they were just trying to keep the children warm and tell them that all the scouts do it. The boys were threatened to remain silent and told they would be called liars.
Now decades later, almost 100,000 Survivors are telling their stories of abuse.