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Four men who were Boy Scouts in the mid-1970s have filed a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America, claiming that the organization was a "pedophile magnet" and failed to prevent their abuser from preying on them while alone for hours at campsites and other facilities.

The 139-page complaint was filed in Stamford Superior Court last week and first covered by the Stamford Advocate. The four anonymous plaintiffs are suing the Boy Scouts of America, the Connecticut Yankee Council, and the Fairfield County Council of Boy Scouts for allegedly failing to take appropriate measures to stop accused serial pedophile Waldron, or "Wally," Ackerman from allegedly preying on them.

Ackerman was, for years, a scoutmaster with Stamford Boy Scout Troop 38, which he led in the mid-1970s. The complaint claims that the Boy Scouts of America "had actual knowledge of the explosion of the pedophiles within scouting during the 1960s and 1970s nationwide."

In fact, according to the complaint, the organization was not conducting criminal background checks on any of its volunteers-nor taking any steps to protect members-despite the fact that scoutmasters and others were allowed to spend long periods of time alone with young boys.

During those hours alone with the boys at campsites and elsewhere, Ackerman allegedly "enticed, induced, coerced, and forced" the four unidentified boys "to engage in deviant sexual acts with him between 1974 and 1976." As a result, they were "physically, mentally, and sexually abused," according to the complaint.

Many other lawsuits have been filed against the Boy Scouts of America over alleged abuse at the hands of a leader or scoutmaster, including in 2015 when 17 former scouts from Ridgefield sued the organization.

The organization has maintained "red files" (or "perversion files" or "ineligible volunteer files") since about 1919, noting the names and cases of men who had preyed on children, the complaint claims. By 1965, "it had actual knowledge that there had been a concrete, longstanding, consistent and widespread problem of adult scout leaders sexually abusing minor scouts," according to the lawsuit.

Those lists were kept secret until they were unsealed by a court last year.

Ackerman is still not on the group's "ineligible list." He was, however, charged with risk of injury to a minor and tampering with the morals of a minor and served prison time, according to the Hartford Courant.

The plaintiffs have asked for various damages to be determined at a jury trial. All of the men are now in their 50s and spent years repressing the memories of their abuse until adulthood, delaying their ability to come forward, according to the lawsuit.

All four of the plaintiffs were allegedly abused by Ackerman from 1974 to 1976. What's worse, in the years leading up to those incidents, the organization "received thousands of reports around the country of adult leaders sexually abusing minor scouts" and "intentionally withheld the information from the public and from the scouts and parents," the lawsuit says. According to the complaint, Boy Scouts of America did nothing to warn families and scouts involved in their troops.

The 103-year-old organization "promotes the wholesomeness of its programs while knowing that since the 1940s it has been secretly removing scoutmasters for child sex abuse at an alarming rate, which in the 1970s, reached an average of one every three days," according to the lawsuit. "Its own records demonstrate that it has long known that 'scouting' attracts pedophiles in large numbers and that scouts, far from being safe, are at a heightened risk of sexual abuse by child molesters."

But the Boy Scouts of America's own records, which were maintained in secrecy for 70 years, "reveal that scouting is a pedophile magnet and that removed pedophiles were often able to re-enter scouting in other locations," the complaint claims.

Even those files are not entirely representative of the predators within the organization, since Boy Scouts of America allegedly destroyed ineligible volunteer files and because "scouts who have been abused, like many children, do not report the fact that they were sexually abused," according to the lawsuit.

The organization issued a statement to the Advocate on Monday noting that the past four decades have resulted in vast changes, including consultations with law enforcement and other authorities to create policies that prevent child abuse.

"The behavior included in these allegations is abhorrent and runs counter to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America stands," Boy Scouts of America said in its statement to the Advocate. "Nothing is more important than the safety of our youth members. We are outraged there have been times when Scouts were abused and we sincerely apologize to victims and their families. Even one instance of child abuse is unacceptable."