Miami Judge Rejects Boy Scouts’ Request to Seal Files on Sexual Abuse by Scoutmasters

When you have a veil of secrecy, you have the potential for abusive behavior. Just as civil litigation has caused the veil of secrecy of child BSAsex abuse to be lifted in the Catholic Church; so too is it now being lifted around the Boy Scouts of America.

For decades, the Boy Scouts of America have kept secret internal files called ineligible volunteer files (“IV Files” and formerly known as Perversion Files). These files included records on the adult scout leaders accused of child sex abuse and other transgressions. The Scouts have fought in litigation for Confidentiality Orders to prevent these records from being obtained and more importantly to prevent them from being made publicly available.

We represent a former boy scout who alleges that he was sexually abused by his Assistant Scoutmaster Jerold Mackinnon.  It is also alleged in the lawsuit that the Scoutmaster was a pedophile who knew that his Assistant Scoutmaster had a sexual interest in boys. In the course of our lawsuit, we learned that the Boy Scouts of America has IV files on both of these former scout leaders. On our client’s behalf, we fought to have the IV Files released on these two South Florida Scout leaders from the same troop, that our client was a member. We argued that these records were a matter of public interest and therefore should not be sealed from the public record.

Judge Jose M. Rodriguez rof the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in Miami ecently ruled in our favor and denied the Confidentiality requested by the Boy Scouts of America. The Court found: “… since child abuse thrives in secrecy, there is a compelling interest in producing these files as it increases transparency on the potential mishandling of sex abuse claims. . . (“[A] society interested in protecting children from criminal assaults would not reasonably leave to the discretion of a children’s social club the disclosure of information regarding criminal assaults on children.”).”

Click here for a complete copy of the ruling.

The attorneys at Farmer Jaffe Weissing handle sexual abuse cases involving the Boy Scouts of America throughout the country. If you or someone you know has been sexually abused by a scoutmaster or scout volunteer affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America, please contact Farmer Jaffe Weissing attorney Adam Horowitz via email at [email protected] or by calling (954) 524-2820.