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Fifteen former Boy Scouts from the suburb of Burbank filed a lawsuit Wednesday alleging that the organization failed to protect them from a scout leader who was later convicted of molestation.

The lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court names the Boy Scouts of America and the group's Chicago Area Council. It was filed by unnamed men — all referred to as "John Doe" — who were members of the same troop from 1980 until 1987. A 16th former scout sued late last year.


Fifteen men filed a lawsuit Wednesday charging the Boy Scouts allowed a Chicago teacher to serve as a leader while he was molesting children.

The plaintiffs say they were in Thomas Hacker's troop in Oak Lawn, Ill., and suffered sexual abuse when they were 10 to 12 years old, WBBM-TV, Chicago, reported. Hacker, now 76, was arrested in 1988 and is serving a 100-year prison term.


"These victims, and their parents, placed their trust and confidence in the Boy Scouts, and the Scouts let them down," attorney Chris Hurley said in a statement. "When abuse was reported, BSA turned its back and not only ignored the victims, but continued to let Hacker snake through the system."

 Documents show that Boy Scouts had a confidential file on Hacker in 1970 based on reports that he'd been arrested in Indiana for sexually assaulting boys in scouting and at a school where he taught. The arrest led to a felony conviction, yet Hacker resurfaced as a scoutmaster in the Chicago suburbs in 1971 and by the end of that year had been arrested again. 


Although he's listed as a defendant in the lawsuit, Christopher Hurley says the suit isn't about Hacker. He says it's about exposing the Boy Scouts of America and preventing this kind of systematic abuse from ever happening again.

Mr. Hurley told Channel 7's Michelle Gallardo about his questioning of Hacker.  "I asked, 'Why the Boy Scouts?' He said, 'Well, because it was so easy.' No one ever asked him a question. No one ever asked for a reference. No one ever checked for the fact that he was a three-time convicted child molester."

boy scout sexual abuseToday, Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. filed a complaint in the Circuit Court of Cook County on behalf of 15 men who were sexually abused by notorious pedophile Thomas Hacker. These men, who wish to remain anonymous, were repeatedly molested by Hacker over several years while members of the same Boy Scout troop. The suit names the Boy Scouts of America and the Chicago Area Council as defendants based on their failure to protect them from a known serial pedophile.

Thomas Hacker is now serving a 100 year sentence after being convicted of five counts of criminal sexual abuse against three boy scouts. Hacker used his position as a scoutmaster to gain unsupervised access to young boys. Unfortunately, the officials in the Boy Scouts of America and the Chicago Area Council failed to take any effective steps to prevent child molesters from infiltrating the Boy Scouts as troopmasters. As a result, Hacker was able to sexually abuse numerous young boys.

The attorneys of Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. are honored to represent these courageous men who suffered life-altering sexual abuse at the hands of this predatory pedophile. These men hope that this lawsuit will raise awareness for the problem of sexual abuse in the Boy Scouts of America and protect future young boys from abuse.

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