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SPEAK OUT: Boy Scout Files Detail Decades of Alleged Sexual Abuse

L.A. Times database lists nearly 90 cases in Maryland between 1959 and 2004.

 

Some 14,000 pages of memos and letters went public this week alleging that between 1965 and 1985 the Boy Scouts catalogued reports of sexual abuse of more than 1,000 Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts from 1965 to 1985.

The Boy Scouts kept the files as a way to track banned Scout leaders and volunteers. The files went public as a result of a 2010 lawsuit in the Oregon Supreme Court.

New criminal prosecutions are not expected because the statute of limitations has lapsed, reported ABC News.

However, the Boy Scouts will likely face a wave of civil lawsuits, the success of which will vary from state to state, reports The Los Angeles Times.

The Boy Scouts of America acknowledged that in some cases, the organization’s response was “plainly insufficient, inappropriate, or wrong,” according to a statement on its website.

“Where those involved in Scouting failed to protect, or worse, inflicted harm on children, we extend our deepest apologies to victims and their families,” according to the statement.

“While it is difficult to understand or explain individuals’ actions from many decades ago, today Scouting is a leader among youth serving organizations in preventing child abuse.

"The BSA requires background checks, comprehensive training programs for volunteers, staff, youth and parents and mandates reporting of even suspected abuse. We have continuously enhanced our multi-tiered policies and procedures to ensure we are in line with and, where possible, ahead of society’s knowledge of abuse and best practices for prevention.”

The L.A. Times compiled its own database of nearly 5,000 cases in which adults were banned from the organization as a result of abuse allegations from 1947 to January 2005.

About 90 of those cases trace back to a troop or unit in Maryland, mostly in Baltimore, The Baltimore Sun reports. The earliest Maryland case was in District Heights in 1959; the most recent in Clear Spring in 2004.

Eight of the cases in the L.A. Times database originated in Montgomery County:

  • Bethesda - 1966 and 1994
  • Wheaton - 1980
  • Silver Spring - 1993
  • Kensington - 1994
  • Takoma Park - 1996
  • Gaithersburg - 2001
  • Potomac - 2001

How will such revelations affect the Boy Scouts? Tell us in comments.

Eileen King October 19, 2012 at 10:21 PM
It is deeply troubling that the Boy Scouts (as well as the Archdiocese of Baltimore) are "stakeholders" in Maryland's "Enough Abuse Campaign" -- a child sexual abuse prevention campaign. In my opinion, they both need to clean house and come clean before they train others in child sexual abuse prevention.
Ellen Mugmon October 20, 2012 at 07:19 PM
I recently spoke to two Boy Scout officials at a forum on child sexual abuse in Baltimore. It was disturbing that they still have a policy on reporting child sexual abuse which makes parents believe that they must first report to the Boy Scouts not the authorities. This contradicts Maryland law and allows the Boy Scouts to screen and perhaps quash reports without parents knowledge. Similarly, the Catholic hierarchy publicly states that it only reports if it considers a report "credible" when it comes to priests and deacons without explaining what their criteria for credibility is or whether those screening these reports are biased in favor of the institution or even have the law enforcement expertise to make appropriate judgements. Moreover, it is unfortunate that the Boy Scouts and the Archdiocese of Baltimore are allowed to use their membership in the "Enough Abuse Campaign" to give the impression to the public all is all is right and the horrendous scandals that their institutions engendered should no longer worry anyone who cares about the protection and safety of children. When these institutions can continue to keep secrets in private files about child sexual abuse/assault, children will continue to be endangered. Secrecy is the lifeblood of sexual offending against children. It safeguards powerful institutions, not vulnerable children, and consequently disqualifies these institutions from claiming to be models of child protection. Ellen Mugmon
Rick October 21, 2012 at 03:47 AM
Another religious organization diddling kids.
Gburgatheist October 21, 2012 at 11:37 AM
Truly, are you surprised. An organization that is bigoted enough to not allow atheists or homosexuals to join, would try to hide the fact that they are molesting children? Another question, why does the government continue to provide funding for the boy scouts when it is exclusionary?
Rick October 21, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Cause they hate atheists enough to ban them from holding public office. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination_against_atheists#United_States
Joe Thomas October 21, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Do you blame them from barring homos? Look at what happened.
Rick October 22, 2012 at 12:51 PM
@Joe Thomas Boy Scouts DID bar "homos" and fifth column family men did the damage. Just like breeders, "homos" can make great families. Unlike traditional families, "homos" have never had an unwanted child.
Timma October 22, 2012 at 03:25 PM
I quit the boyscouts when in 4th or 5th grade because the troop leaders allow the other scouts to conduct "initiations" which stripped kids and tied them to the trees. I wouldn't allow them to do it.
Sean R. Sedam November 08, 2012 at 08:14 PM
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