NEW JERSEY (FOX 5 NEWS) - Three former Boy Scouts say they're one step closer to bringing an alleged sexual predator to justice -- their Scoutmaster. A landmark court decision is allowing their lawsuit to move forward in New Jersey.
Chris Malcolm, 35, said he struggles to sleep, suffers from anxiety, and battles anger resulting from five years and hundreds of incidents of sexual abuse allegedly committed against him by Scoutmaster Stephen Corcoran 20-plus years ago.
"As soon as everything around me becomes quiet, my mind just fills up again with anxiety and thoughts of the past," Malcolm told reporters on Wednesday. "He made a point to integrate himself into my family, my friends to make it as normal as possible."
Malcolm filed a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America in 2012. His attorney Bruce Nagel said that the Boy Scouts have stalled for the last five years, most recently arguing that Malcolm filed his suit – later joined by two other former Scouts claiming abuse against the same leader – after the statute of limitations had passed.
"The Boy Scouts of America have never stood up and taken responsibility for Chris or any of his fellow Boy Scouts that were molested over the years," Nagel said.
A judge ruled in favor of Malcolm and the other Scouts citing a state law allowing those abused as children to bring their suits within two years of discovering the injury sustained from said abuse, Nagel said.
"It's time that they take responsibility for destroying the lives of thousands of young children across this country," Nagel said. He cited a data bank of more than 5,000 Scout leaders that the Boy Scouts of America identified as pedophiles since 1920 as evidence of systemic abuse in the organization.
"The BSA is outraged there have been times when Scouts were abused and we sincerely apologize to victims and their families," the Boy Scouts of America wrote in a statement to Fox 5. "Nothing is more important than the safety of our youth members and we consider youth protection our top priority."
"[Corcoran] actually pointed me out in one of our trips to the other adults and said: 'Hey, I'll take care of this kid. You guys don't have to worry about him,'" Malcolm said.
The Scout leader accused of committing the abuse pleaded guilty to child pornography charges in June.
"Steven Corcoran maintains his innocence on all charges and looks forward to a jury of his peers hear the case," his attorney said in a statement.
Malcolm's attorney said he hoped Corcoran would also plead guilty in the sexual assault case before Malcom's suit against the Boy Scouts goes to trial in November.