Boy Scouts to Review 50 Years of Sex Abuse Files

Any undisclosed cases will be shown to police, says group
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2012 4:41 PM CDT
IIn 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)

(Newser) – With about 5,000 allegations of sexual abuse on file since the 1950s, the Boy Scouts of America announced it would review its confidential files and notify law enforcement officials about any sexual predators it had not yet disclosed, reports the Los Angeles Times. The announcement comes less than two weeks after the LAT revealed that the Scouts hid many abusers within its organization. It also comes just ahead of the public release of hundreds of files thanks to a court case in Oregon.

The Scouts also released a report made by a psychiatrist who examined the files and concluded that the organization's efforts to remove offenders from its ranks meant Scouts had a lower chance of being abused than other boys. But many experts took issue with that interpretation of the data. "Personally I have represented more than a hundred men abused by Scout leaders whose names were never entered in the ... files—even after BSA paid out substantial settlements," said one plaintiff's attorney. "The files are only the tip of the iceberg. Most perpetrators never get caught."

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