Boy Scouts Sex Offenders Files Released
Confidential files documenting suspected child sex abusers kept by the Boy Scouts of America were released after a two-year long court battle.
The Oregon Supreme Court ordered that 14,500 pages of confidential information, which are believed to chronicle committed acts of abuse, both inside and outside the organization, be released by Thursday.
The secret "Perversion Files" contain much more than originally thought. The files consist of memos from local and national scout executives, handwritten letters from victims and their parents and newspaper clipping about the legal cases. The documents contain both proven details of molestation within troops and unsubstantiated allegations.
One of the most shocking surprises in the files was the high frequency of which attempts to protect young boys from their alleged molester troop leaders fell apart at the local level.
The documents contain one startling case, where a Louisiana trooper leader confessed to raping and molesting three of his scouts.
"I don't know an explanation why we done it or I done it or wanted to do it or anything else. It just--an impulse I guess or something," the man told a sheriff's deputy.
According to a Louisiana BSA executive, charges were never pursued, however, "to save the name of scouting."
Until now, the Boy Scouts have argued that they did everything possible to avoid sexual abuse within their leadership organization by keeping track of pedophiles for nearly a century. They used those archives to keep known sex offenders out of their troops. Yet, the release of these files, which we kept from 1965 to 1985, has driven the Scouts to pledge that they will further investigate any allegations.
This investigation could trigger a whole new set of criminal prosecutions to offenders who have escaped justice.
The organization began keeping these files soon after their establishment in 1910, when pedophilia was a crime often dealt with privately. The Scouts contend that the files helped them protect children and track offenders. Yet, some of the records released in 1991 (dealing with cases from 1971 to 1991) show repeated instances of Scout leaders failing to divulge sexual abuse cases to authorities.
Clark, who won the milestone 2010 lawsuit against the organization, says the documents reveal that although the Scouts have been gathering the files since nearly 1910, the organization neglected to use them to protect the boys from pedophiles.
In April 2010, a jury ruled the BSA had failed to protect the claimant from an assistant Scoutmaster pedophile in the 1980s, although that man had formerly admitted to molesting Scouts. $20 million was granted to the claimant by the jury.