A scoutmaster who was named in the BSA’s “perversion files” today admitted his guilt, but said he did so under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Drinking beer and smoking pot is no excuse for abusing children. The fact that Thomas Menghi Jr. says that he “isn’t excusing his actions” doesn’t matter; he is rationalizing and defending them. At the very least, it’s good that he admitted he’s done something wrong. The problem is that there is nothing that can be done about it.
This is why cover-ups are so devastating. By hiding the abuse and letting knowledge of his crimes stay secret, Boy Scout officials prevented the kids that Menghi Jr. molested from ever getting the chance to seek justice. These victims were barred from justice by the statute of limitations and the BSA.
We hope that cases such as these will help spur changes. We hope that people will realize that the statue of limitations is archaic and does nothing but protect predators. We hope that organizations will see that by hiding abuse it doesn’t go away, but comes up later and makes the organization and officials look horrible. Had the Boy Scouts done the right thing and go the police with information about Menghi Jr. and other predators, more kids would have been safe and the BSA would be respected, not vilified. Unfortunately, they chose to protect the institution and not the kids.
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