Boy Scouts Release Secret Abuse Files

Following a ruling by the Oregon Supreme Court, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has released the secret files that tracked accusations of child sexual abuse against Scout leaders and volunteers.  The files are referred to as “ineligible volunteer” files, which is a change from their previous name “perversion files,” and they detail more than 1,200 cases between the years 1965 and 1985.  Late last month, the BSA admitted in an open letter that it had made an “insufficient response” to the abuse charges over the years.

Attorney Kelly Clark has published the files on his website in .pdf format.  Victims’ names and the names of those who reported the abuse have been redacted from the documents, and abusers’ names are only listed if they were employees of the BSA.

NBC News has more:

People will see in the files “over and over again where there is a concern that this material not get out … this will make Scouting look bad,” Clark said. Alleged offenders were also being “given second chances,” he added.

“In too many of these individual situations what happened was a de facto cover-up. I don’t believe that anybody woke up and conspired and said, ‘How do we create a system that would cover up child abuse?’ But when they put the interest of the organization ahead of the safety of kids, pretty soon they were engaged in a de facto cover-up of abuse,” Clark said….

Some of the findings included:

– 486 of the men identified in the files as suspects were arrested at some time for a sex crime. It may have occurred before they got involved with Scouting, as a result of the incident noted in their file or after they left the organization.
–  In 531 of the cases, there was information indicating alleged inappropriate sexual behavior with multiple youths.
–  In 252 of the cases, the available information indicated alleged inappropriate sexual behavior with only a single victim.
– 128 of the men in the files had their registration revoked within a year of signing up.
– Police were involved in the investigation of 523 cases.

Image: Vintage Boy Scout badge, via Shutterstock

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