Paul Mones, An Oregon lawyer, has released 14,500 pages of documents relating the sexual abuse of its members.
Mones said the files “demonstrate the depth and breadth of the BSA’s vast knowledge about the threats to scouts by scoutmasters and adult leaders who used their authority … to sexually molest generations of boys.”
“Child abuse thrives in secrecy, and secret systems are its breeding ground. These files are perhaps the most complete and comprehensive example we have ever seen of that sad reality,” said Kerry Clark [sic].
“It is our hope that other youth organizations will learn the lessons from these files, and as a result, do a better job of protecting children,” said Clark, whose law firm published the files online.
Boy Scouts leader Wayne Perry admits that many of these cases were handled incorrectly, and apologized to the victims involved. But the release of these documents—which span from 1965 to 1985—is expected to spur many more lawsuits like one from 2010 wherein the BSA was found negligent in the covering up of sexual abuse perpetrated by one leader who was fired from his main position but allowed to remain in a position of authority as an assistant, where he abused more boys, as many as 17 boys total.
CNN further explains:
One of the attorneys, Kelly Clark of Portland, is seeking the federal audit because of news accounts he’s read the past three years showing that adult Scoutmasters were being accused of child sex abuse or possessing child pornography.
“One of the questions we have for the Boy Scouts is, if the policy (on child abuse prevention) is so good, why is still happening?” Clark said. “We don’t, for example, see a Catholic priest being arrested once a week, once a month, anymore.”
The public release of the Scouts’ 1,247 “ineligible volunteer files” from 1965 to 1985 does not identify the boy victims and witnesses. The national files are being distributed with the approval of the Oregon Supreme Court by a law firm that won an $18.5 million judgment in 2010 against the Boy Scouts in a case where a Scoutmaster sexually abused a boy.
The documents, which are available on Clark’s website (though apparently the site and documents have been unavailable most of the first day they were made public), will identify those accused. CNN states that it will not link to the document because ” it hasn’t verified the allegations that they contain and because the attorneys admit that they haven’t checked the veracity of the allegations.” For these same reasons, The Good Men Project will refrain from linking to these documents until further verification can be made.
What do you think of the release of these documents? Do you think there should be a federal audit into the Boy Scouts of America’s actions regarding the sexual abuse of children within the organization?
Will you be looking at the so-called “perversion files” from the Boy Scouts of America?
AP photo/Rick Bowmer