"(They) knew that their organization attracted pedophiles, so there is a higher duty on the Boy Scouts to make sure children were protected," Hurley said.
Hacker, now 76, is serving a 100-year prison sentence for sexually abusing boys. The father of three was able to keep working as a Scout leader of a troop that served the Burbank and Oak Lawn area despite being convicted of sex crimes against youths in Indianapolis in 1970 and Mount Prospect in 1971.
"He was very shrewd," said retired Cook County assistant state's attorney Jim McCarter, who prosecuted the criminal case. Hacker used his Boy Scouts post and his job as Burbank Park District director to work with children, looking for kids who might be vulnerable, McCarter said.
Hacker told a psychiatrist he'd abused more than 100 boys. A state agency found that he had abused 34 boys in Illinois. He was arrested in 1988 after parents of one of the victims contacted police.
"He would access these kids when they would go on camping trips," McCarter said. "Sometimes the parents were on the trip. When they were having the men's meeting playing cards or drinking beer he was creeping into tents."
"I saw him do things to kids at almost every campout," one 15-year-old boy testified at the trial.
Civil lawsuits brought in the years immediately after Hacker's conviction were settled for a large amount of money.
"The abuse was repetitive, disgusting, and it's something the organization could've and should've and did know about," said attorney James Gierach, who represented two of the victims in one of the civil lawsuits.
The Boy Scouts declined to comment, issuing a statement saying they had not yet seen the lawsuit.
"We deeply regret that there have been times when Scouts were abused, and for that we are very sorry and extend our deepest sympathies to victims," the statement said.