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Investigation Reveals The Boy Scouts of America Neglected to Report Hundreds of Cases of Alleged Sexual Abuse

The Boy Scouts of America, one of the nation’s largest and most prominent values-based youth development organizations, has seemingly become a popular target for sexual predators. However, a recent investigation revealed that officials neglected to report hundreds of cases of alleged sexual abuse between 1970 and 1991. In an attempt to reconcile their lack of action, the Boy Scouts of America recently announced that they would conduct a comprehensive review of files on suspected sexual predators to ensure that all allegations of abuse in the last 47 years have been reported to law enforcement.

As an integral component to the development of our nation’s youth, the Boy Scouts of America provides children with life tools. They provide an opportunity for young people to build their character, train them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and develop personal fitness. For nearly a century, the organization has helped build the future leaders of this country by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun. They know that helping the youth is a key to building a more conscientious, responsible, and productive society.

However, sexual predators have seemingly found a way to abuse the system in which we entrust our children. Over the years, hundreds of children have reported instances of sexual abuse. The trending problem forced the organization to rely on a confidential blacklist known as the “perversion files” as a crucial line of defense against sexual predators. The black list consists of files on all of the sexual transgressions that have taken place over the years.

Scouting officials have acknowledged that this list has prevented hundreds of sexual deviants from entering the ranks of the organization. They’ve fought hard in court to keep the records from public view, saying confidentiality was needed to protect victims, witnesses and anyone falsely accused. “It is a fact that Scouts are safer because the barrier created by these files is real,” Scouts Chief Executive Robert Mazzuca said in video posted on the organization’s website in June.

However, a 1992 court case involving the black list made the files viewable to the public. A subsequent investigation into the “perversion files” revealed that hundreds of cases of alleged sexual abuse between 1970 and 1991 were not reported to law enforcement.

The Boy Scouts of America announced Tuesday that it would conduct a comprehensive review of files on suspected sexual predators to ensure that all allegations of abuse in the last 47 years have been reported to law enforcement.

When asked why they were planning on undertaking this task, a Scout spokesman said in an email, “While we believe the files are an inconclusive record, the BSA will undertake a new review and analysis … to ensure that all good-faith suspicion of abuse [from 1965-present] have been reported to law enforcement.”

The L.A. Times investigation found that Scout officials routinely failed to report detailed allegations to law enforcement and worked with suspected molesters to keep the information from parents and the press. In 80% of the cases where the Scouts learned of abuse directly from parents or victims, the files contained no indication that police were notified. In more than 100 cases, there was evidence that officials actively sought to conceal alleged abuse.

In conducting their own investigation, the Los Angeles Times procured a copy of a preliminary 2011 study by Janet Warren, a University of Virginia psychiatrist. That study found that number of men expelled from Scouting for sexual abuse each year represented a tiny fraction of the more than 1 million adults who volunteered for Scouting. Warren did not address abuse that may not have been reported to Scouting’s national office during those years.

The Times analysis of Warren’s study revealed that Scout officials routinely failed to report detailed allegations to law enforcement and worked with suspected molesters to keep the information from parents and the press. In 80% of the cases where the Scouts learned of abuse directly from parents or victims, the files contained no indication that police were notified. In more than 100 cases, there was evidence that officials actively sought to conceal alleged abuse.

In a letter addressed to the Scouting community, senior Scouting officials said in part: “In certain cases, our response to these incidents and our efforts to protect youth were plainly insufficient, inappropriate and wrong.”

Do I Have a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?

The trial lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP have decades of experience navigating through complex legislative and regulatory issues and litigating high stakes cases all over the nation. Our law firm focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in sexual abuse lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse, you may be entitled to financial compensation. For a free case review, please click the link below or call toll free 24 hrs/day 1-800-773-0849.

Categories: Child Sexual Abuse
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