Boy Scouts Hid Child Molesters: 'Perversion Files'

400 reviewed cases weren't reported to police

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 17, 2012 9:13 AM CDT

(Newser) – Details from the Boy Scouts' so-called "perversion files"—a decades-old blacklist of child abusers within the organization—are continuing to emerge, and the results aren't pretty. The group helped cover up instances of abuse, as suspects left the Boy Scouts with excuses ranging from "chronic brain dysfunction" to Shakespeare festival work, the Los Angeles Times reports. In some 500 cases, the organization was tipped off to the abuse before it was reported to outside officials. And in 80% of those instances, the group didn't report the matter to police.

In one case, for example, a camp director wrote to the top Boy Scout lawyer noting a "lifelong pattern" of abuse in a staffer. "When a problem has surfaced, he has been asked to leave a position 'of his own free will' rather than risk further investigation," the letter said. Many of the files contained a checkbox saying, "Internal (only scouts know)." The scouts say they were aiming to protect victims' privacy; since 2010, the organization has required any suspicion of abuse to be reported to officials. But the group has taken little responsibility for past troubles—and extensive legal consequences could ensue, the Times notes.

In this June 14, 2012 file photo, boxes full of records from the Boy Scouts of America are seen next to the Boy Scout oath at an attorney's office in Portland, Ore.   (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)
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