A new report by The Los Angeles Times has alleged that the Boy Scouts of America failed to file police reports on hundreds of alleged child molesters within their organization and frequently hid parents’ allegations. The investigation found that Boy Scout officials often urged offenders to quietly resign and would then cover their tracks.
According to reports, the organization keeps confidential “perversion files,” that are a blacklist of alleged molesters and have been kept since 1919. In total, the investigation found approximately 1,600 confidential files dating from 1970 through 1991. However, many men who were expelled from the organization were able to get back in, only to be accused again of molestation.
Additionally, the investigation found that the Scouts learned of more than 500 instances of alleged abuse from tips before authorities, but approximately 400 of these cases were never reported to the police. In 100 of these cases, Scouting officials tried to conceal the abuse or allow suspects to hide it themselves.
Frequently, when Scouting members were accused of various types of abuse, they would leave the organization due to various excuses including new employment and physical ailments. However, many other cases include alleged molesters being accused of crimes, investigations by the Scouts, interviews with the victim, but then no action taken against the member within the organization or with law enforcement. Often, those accused of molestation remained within the organization for years to come.
In response, the Boy Scouts of America has stated that they have always cooperated with the law and that keeping these files confidential is part of protecting the privacy of victims.
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