The Boy Scouts of America has two decades' worth of documents on 1,200 suspected child molesters in the organization—and the long-secret files are set to go public. A court has ruled that the "perversion files," cited by attorneys in a 2010 lawsuit, are public record. That means 20,000 pages of material on child abuse and lesser offenses, from 1965 to 1985, will come to light, the AP reports.
A lawyer in the 2010 case, which held that the BSA hadn't adequately protected a boy who'd been molested, calls the files "poignant and disturbing." "These files were integral to the jury finding that the BSA failed to use its vast knowledge of sexual predators to protect its Scouts," he said. For its part, the BSA says it fears the files' release could hurt those who were suspected of child abuse without being convicted. What's more, the documents could "negatively impact victims' privacy and have a chilling effect on the reporting of abuse."