Today, the Oregon Supreme Court ordered the release of some 20,000 pages of Boy Scouts of America records regarding suspected of confirmed sexual abuse by BSA volunteers and staffers, reports Yahoo News. The names of those involved—both victims and alleged perpetrators—will however remain confidential.
The BSA fought to keep the documents, dubbed the “perversion files,” sealed—saying they were “maintained to keep out individuals whose actions are inconsistent with the standards of Scouting, and Scouts are safer because those files exist.”
In 2010, the files were admitted as evidence in a civil trial against the Boy Scouts, which found the group was liable in pedophilia case and required to pay some $20 million in compensation.
“The released documents represent the largest and most comprehensive data collection system on child sexual abuse maintained by an organization in the nation,” said Paul Mones, a lawyer for several abuse victims. “Not even the Catholic Church has such a system.”
Last year, four Oregon men sued the Boy Scouts in separate cases for more than $5 million each over childhood sexual abuse they say they suffered at the hands of a pedophile knowingly appointed as their scoutmaster in the 1970s.
Mounting litigation against the Boy Scouts has tarnished the wholesome image of a 100-year-old largely volunteer organization that prides itself on building good character, citizenship and personal fitness among the 2.7 million youth—mostly boys aged eight to 17—who are its members.
The documents reveal that an average of about 60 molesters within the ranks of the Boy Scout were uncovered every year from 1965 to 1985.
So openly gay scouts and leaders are banned, but child molesters get a wink and a nod? That doesn’t sound very character-building or morally straight to us.