Report Shows Scouts Hid Sexual Abuse Allegations

A blistering story by the Los Angeles Times reveals that the Boy Scouts of America not only neglected to report allegations of sexual abuse, but in some cases actively worked to keep the allegations private. 

In a review of more than 1,600 files which were compiled between 1970 and 1991, the Times found evidence that BSA officials alllowed accused or suspected molesters to leave the organization voluntarily. And, although the organization kept a list of alleged molesters, in many cases the perpetrators were allowed to re-enter the scouting program, where they would eventually face new accusations of molestation. Of the 500 cases in which alleged abuse had been reported to the BSA by parents or staff members, about 80 percent  went unreported to police. The Times reports that in about 100 of those cases, the BSA actively worked to hide the abuse. 

Not surprisingly, officials from BSA declined to comment on the story, but did release a prepared statement indicating the BSA has "always cooperated fully with any request from law enforcement." 

In the next three to four weeks, decades of records about confirmed and alleged child molesters within the BSA are set to be released, although the organization has been fighting to keep the records private. The files date from 1965 to 1985, and played a key role in a 2010 civil trial which led an Oregon jury to find the Scouts liable for a pedophile case dating back to the 1980s. The BSA was ordered to pay nearly $20 milliion in damages. The Boy Scouts of America presently faces more than 50 child sexual abuse cases in 18 states.

 

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