Boy Scouts' 'Perversion Files' Go Online

You can search the database of 1,250 Scout leaders accused of abuse

By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 18, 2012 10:15 AM CDT | Updated Oct 18, 2012 3:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – An Oregon lawyer has released 15,000 pages of the so-called "perversion files," documents that recount child abuse within the Boy Scouts, reports the Seattle Times. "The stories in those files are real little boys and real stories of abuse," says attorney Kelly Clark, who opened a searchable database that includes the names of 1,250 accused Scout volunteers, as well as a brief description of their cases. It can be accessed here (but expect delays, at least today). He hopes that the database, which covers cases between 1965 and 1985, will help some victims discover if their abuser was caught. Clark himself sees lessons, and patterns: "If you see the same thing happening year in, year out, you can't just sit there and make a list. If your program isn't working, you make changes."

Two other lawyers in the state were set to make public their own files as well. Updated files from recent years are still sealed, but courts in other states are fighting to make those public soon. Clark's files illuminate a different era, before strict protocol on the reporting of sexual abuse had been developed within the Scouts. "They held their nose, closed their eyes, and made these guys go away—sometimes reporting to police, sometimes not, sometimes telling the parents, sometimes not," said one journalist who has reviewed the files. Click to read the full Times piece, which outlines some of the disturbing cases.

In this June 14, 2012, file photo, attorney Kelly Clark speaks in front of former court case illustrations and boxes full of records from the Boy Scouts of America in Portland, Ore.
In this June 14, 2012, file photo, attorney Kelly Clark speaks in front of former court case illustrations and boxes full of records from the Boy Scouts of America in Portland, Ore.   (AP Photo/Don Ryan, file)
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