The Boy Scouts of America are reportedly preparing for the release of internal child abuse files, that have come be known as “Confidential” or “Ineligible Volunteer” records. REUTERS, reports that approximately 1,247 files, containing disturbing portrayals of sexual abuse and thousands of incidents, from 1965-1985 will be released today – October 18, 2012. The LATimes has prepared the image above which is interactive and lists locations. The LATimes story, “Boy Scouts’ “Perversion Files”:Confidential Files Go Public Today“, by J. Felch & K. Christensen, notes that there are nearly 5,000 cases, from 1947-2005, with more than 300 cases tied to either a troop or unit in California. The newspaper is uploading materials into an online database it maintains and their analysis has identified instances where Scouting officials repeatedly helped alleged molesters go undiscovered. Moreover, it has identified ‘grooming behavior’ by members that helped perpetuate a culture of denial and silence until now.
REUTERS reporter, C. Fracescani, reports in “Boy Scouts Brace for Release of Internal Child Sex Abuse Files“, that detailed records will be released today pursuant to a civil judgment. The story alleges that since 1919, the Boy Scouts, maintained internal files to prevent pedophiles from reentering its ranks in other cities and states.
While police were reportedly involved, at some level, in 2/3 of the “Inelgible Volunteer” records, a culture of tolerance is depicted in claims that local Scout leaders accepted resignation and silence rather than notice to authorities. The cycle of abuse continued in certain instances where pedophiles returned to the Boy Scouts and continued to molest.
The release of these records comes as a result of a legal ruling in Oregon where a civil jury found the organiation liable for $18.5 Million Dollars in failing to protect a Scout from a pedophile. An Oregon Judge ordered the materials released. A Texas Judge is poised to order the release of records from 1985-2010 leading many to question if the organization has learned from the past.
Our office has represented dozens of victims of physical and sexual assault. As such, we are familiar with representing victims of predators, organizations of people in positions of authority, or power, that use their position to gain influence or abuse. We believe current media exposure will help educate the public and force “institutions of trust” to become accountable for their polices, procedures and oversight, or the lack thereof.
In the recent past, our office has prosecuted civil cases against registered sex offenders, including Jeffrey Epstein, and most recently former youth pastor Jeffrey London. More details are available here. We are currently evaluating potential remedies against The Boy Scouts of America, accepting case referrals and investigating other cases where survivors of sexual abuse seek advocates. The firm is committed to empowering victims and holding perpetrators accountable.