Thursday, October 18, 2012

Boy Scout Files Detail Decades of abuse coverups

NYTimes  In August 1981, the father of three Boy Scouts in western Colorado wrote in deep despair to scouting supervisors: a familiar local scout leader, referred to only as Joe, had sexually abused boys in his troop, including the writer’s own sons, and yet was still being allowed to have contact with boys.

Joe had been spotted at a big scout gathering called a Jamboree, the letter said, wearing a leather name tag like all other scoutmasters. “Your assurances that Joe was out of scouting and would have no further contact with scouting have just become meaningless,” he wrote. “Do you care about my distress over watching Joe insidiously get back?”

Regrets and recriminations about how the Boy Scouts of America have policed the ranks of its scoutmasters and other volunteers to guard against sexual predators — and how they have often failed — echo through the thousands of pages of internal documents, police files and newspaper clippings released here on Thursday after a lengthy court battle. The files were put together over a 20-year period in states across the nation on 1,247 men who were accused of abuse between 1965 and 1985, often with multiple victims. The release of the documents creates, for the first time, a public database on specific abuse accusations.   [See also NBC News ]

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