Oregon | The Boy Scouts Files

Attorneys Want Files From Boy Scouts Civil Suit Released

OPB | June 14, 2010 1:48 a.m. | Updated: Oct. 17, 2012 6:01 a.m. | Portland, OR

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By Amelia Templeton

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Today lawyers will ask a Portland judge to release files that were used as evidence in a civil lawsuit against the Boy Scouts.

The plaintiff in the suit also wants the files released, but the Scouts say they should remain private. Amelia Templeton reports.


The files in question are records the Scouts kept for twenty years detailing allegations of child sexual abuse. OPB is one of the six media organizations asking Judge John Wittmayer to release them.

The Boy Scouts say the files contain information that should be kept private, like the names of abuse victims.

Attorneys for the press and the plaintiff in the case will argue that the Oregon constitution bans secret court proceedings. And that trumps any privacy claim.

Bob Steringer is an attorney who specializes in appeals and constitutional law. He says Judge Wittmayer's decision may hinge on the fact that the six boxes of files were not released during the trial, but were seen by the jury.

Bob Steringer: “What the boy scouts case poses is the question of whether there should be a right to access to those exhibits because they were used in the proceeding but they were not made truly available to people who were there during the proceeding.”
 
One abuse victim named in the Scouts' files has written an affidavit asking the Judge to keep them secret.

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