Files reveal sex abuse in Boy Scouts
by Nigel Duara
Associated Press Writer
October 19, 2012 01:38 AM | 647 views | 1 1 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
PORTLAND, Ore. — Again and again, decade after decade, an array of authorities — police chiefs, prosecutors, pastors and local Boy Scout leaders among them — quietly shielded scoutmasters and others accused of molesting children, a newly opened trove of confidential papers shows.

At the time, those authorities justified their actions as necessary to protect the good name and good works of Scouting, a pillar of 20th century America. But as detailed in 14,500 pages of secret “perversion files” released Thursday by order of the Oregon Supreme Court, their maneuvers allowed sexual predators to go free while victims suffered in silence.

The files are a window on a much larger collection of documents the Boy Scouts of America began collecting soon after their founding in 1910. The files, kept at Boy Scout headquarters in Texas, consist of memos from local and national Scout executives, handwritten letters from victims and their parents and newspaper clippings about legal cases. The files contain details about proven molesters, but also unsubstantiated allegations.

The allegations stretch across the country and to military bases overseas, from a small town in the Adirondacks to downtown Los Angeles.

At the news conference Thursday, Portland attorney Kelly Clark blasted the Boy Scouts for their continuing legal

battles to try to keep the full trove of files secret.

“You do not keep secrets hidden about dangers to children,” said Clark, who in 2010 won a landmark lawsuit against the Boy Scouts on behalf of a plaintiff who was molested by an assistant scoutmaster in the 1980s.

The Associated Press obtained copies of the files weeks ahead of Thursday’s release and conducted an extensive review of them, but agreed not to publish the stories until the files were released.

The files were shown to a jury in a 2010 Oregon civil suit that the Scouts lost, and the Oregon Supreme Court ruled the files should be made public. After months of objections and redactions, the Scouts and Clark released them.

In many instances — more than a third, according to the Scouts’ own count — police weren’t told about the reports of abuse. And even when they were, sometimes local law enforcement still did nothing, seeking to protect the name of Scouting over their victims.

Victims like three brothers, growing up in northeast Louisiana.

On the afternoon of Aug. 10, 1965, their distraught mother walked into the third floor of the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office. A 31-year-old scoutmaster, she told the chief criminal deputy, had raped one of her sons and molested two others.

Six days later, the scoutmaster, an unemployed airplane mechanic, sat down in front of a microphone in the same station, said he understood his rights and confessed: He had sexually abused the woman’s sons more than once.
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William Grasse
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November 02, 2012
This is absolutely unfortunate and unforgivable. However, Scouting, like men of the clergy are 'expected' to hold themselves in a much higher standard of behavior due to their station in life. It is for this reason that any person or organization of moral value comes under constant scrutiny and attack for their beliefs. It is because they are held to such levels that any and every hint of impropriety falls directly in the spotlight. As an Eagle Scout and former Scoutmaster AND a Catholic, I feel every man or woman accused of such acts cause the rest of those in each organization to feel as though they too are under attack and must defend the honor of all for the transgressions of the few.
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