History of Abuse

Boy Scouts of America Kept Voluminous Records Detailing Abuse For Over 100 Years

The Boy Scouts of America was formed in 1910, and it has been reported that since its inception, the leaders of the Boy Scouts kept secret files on thousands of cases of sexual abuse. In 2012, the Los Angeles Times reported that after a review of 1,600 confidential files from 1970 to 1991, the Scouting officials quietly urged admitted offenders to resign and likely covered the tracks of these predators.

The details of the abuse are contained in the Boy Scouts of America’s “Perversion Files,” which read as a blacklist of alleged molesters going back to 1919. In the over 100 years of its existence, the Boy Scouts of America kept these files which contain thousands of sexual abuse reports by the very people the Boy Scouts of America allowed access to millions of children over the past century. In many of the cases investigated by the LA times, the paper reported that most of the time there was no record of Scouting officials reporting the allegations to police, and often officials actively sought to conceal the abuse or allowed the suspects to hide it.

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Reported Incidents of Sexual Abuse by Boy Scout Leaders across the Country

Specific examples uncovered by the LA times are as follows.
Abused in Scouting Abuse Map
In 1982, a Michigan Boy Scout director failed to report allegations of sexual abuse by one of its staff members because he wanted to protect both the organization and the abuser. In the police report, “[H]e stated that he had been advised by his supervisors and legal counsel that he should neutralize the situation and keep it quiet.” This could have further damaged his victims and potentially allowed this predator to continue to find new victims.
In 1982, a Virginia Boy Scout director reported to the Boy Scout’s legal counsel that he suspected a veteran employee of the Boy Scout camp exhibited a “lifelong pattern” of sexual abuse, but the organization failed to report the issue and simply encouraged this predator to leave on his own free will.
In 1976, a Pennsylvania Scout Master was accused of two rapes and other sex crimes by five boy scouts. His punishment was a simple resignation on his own free will and was wished well by the organization.
In 1987, in Washington state, a district executive of the Boy Scouts complained to the national office of the Boy Scouts of America that another member of the Boy Scouts leadership had failed to put a convicted molester on the blacklist because he was a nice guy, ensuring his access to young boys in his care.
In 1990, a Maryland Boy Scout leader was given six weeks to resign when he told the Boy Scouts that the abuse allegations against him were true. He was allowed to resign as long as he kept the fact that he abused children in his care confidential and only known to the Boy Scouts of America: not to the authorities, not to the families of his victims, but only to the Boy Scouts.
In 1984, a Virginia Boy Scout leader was arrested acting on a tip to police and was convicted of abusing 20 different boy scouts in his care over a number of years - some as young as eight years old. Although at the time of the arrest the Boy Scouts of America denied any suspicions, the L.A. times reported that the organization had knowledge at least six years before in 1978 from a sworn statement of a 12-year-old boy alleging abuse. But the organization did nothing. It continued to place him in a position of trust, even writing letters of recommendation for National Scouting events where he undoubtedly would gain more access to potential victims.
In 1971, in Rhode Island, an assistant troop leader was caught with a 12-year-old scout performing oral sex on him behind a tent. The troop leader admitted his role in the act and was expelled from the scouts. Later in 1997, this same assistant scout leader was convicted of sexual assault and subsequently convicted in 2005 of possession of child pornography. The abused boy underwent counseling with the camp’s Catholic chaplain, and upon his recommendations, the victim’s parents were not notified. The chaplain was later blacklisted in 1990 from the Scouts based on accusations of multiple counts of rapes. In 2002, the Diocese of Providence paid $13.5 million to 36 victims who sued the Chaplain and ten other priests because of allegations of sexual abuse dating back to at least 1975. The Boy Scouts of America failed to report these abusers to authorities, allowing this pattern of abuse to continue.
In 1984 in California, a Los Angeles Scout Leader was caught by authorities with hundreds of photos of naked boy scouts – many showing him giving enemas to the boys. The organization jumped into damage control and kept the case from becoming public and embarrassing the Scouts.
In 1987 in Wisconsin, a high-ranking Scout leader in Milwaukee admitted to masturbating while fondling two boys. The Boy Scouts of America worked diligently to keep the incident out of the press, allowing this leader to continue to work with children until 2001 in connection with his medical practice.
In 1988 in Texas, a scoutmaster was convicted of sexual abuse through the testimony of 16 boy scouts and was sentenced to life in prison.
In 1990 in Pennsylvania, a Scout Leader was charged with molesting three children through his links to the Boy Scouts in the previous two years and later pleaded guilty to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and sexual abuse of children.
In 1981, an assistant scoutmaster in Los Angeles was convicted of sexual abuse. It was later discovered that he admitted to having sex with more than 50 boys, many of whom were cub scouts.
In 2012, NPR ran a story featuring lawyer Timothy Kosnoff describing 1,900 Boy Scout Leaders accused of Child Sex Abuse:

Confirmed Abusers in the Boy Scout Files

Search our list of confirmed child sex abusers within the Boy Scouts of America.
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