The Boy Scouts of America is releasing 20 years worth of "perversion" files on thousands of suspected pedophiles today, the Associated Press reports.
The release of the files stems from an order by the Oregon state Supreme Court. In 2010 the scouting organization petitioned to keep the files closed, but were opposed by media groups. After a high-profile trial this June, the court ordered Boy Scouts of America to release the files after removing identifying information about the victims.
As the LA Times notes, in more than 300 cases, the files involve someone with connections to a Boy Scout troop here in California. We contacted the local Boy Scouts, who said someone would talk to us about this; however, nobody has yet returned our calls.
"There have been instances where people misused their positions in Scouting to abuse children, and in certain cases, our response to these incidents and our efforts to protect youth were plainly insufficient, inappropriate, or wrong," says National Boy Scouts of America President Wayne Perry, who was quoted on the organization's website."Where those involved in Scouting failed to protect, or worse, inflicted harm on children, we extend our deepest and sincere apologies to victims and their families."
He went on to point out that 63 percent of the files released today were reported to police and 58 percent included information that was publicly known.
An independent review, commissioned by the Boy Scouts of America, showed that the group failed to protect its members from "those that would do them harm," but it also points out that the current protection system for the Scouts is "state of the art," according to the website.
It also says that the Boy Scouts requires background checks as well as training for its leaders and has improved its policies in an effort to prevent abuse.Follow @sfweekly