Local | The Boy Scouts Files

Boy Scouts Abuse Case Nears End

OPB | April 7, 2010 2:32 a.m. | Updated: Oct. 17, 2012 6:01 a.m. | Portland, OR

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By Amelia Templeton

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A Portland jury heard Tuesday from the final witnesses in a civil trial against the Boy Scouts of America. 

At issue in the trial is whether the national organization did enough to warn the community that some scoutmasters were pedophiles.


The defense for the Boy Scouts rested its case earlier this week. Their witnesses testified that schools and youth groups knew very little about sexual abuse of children in the early 1980s.

The defense argued that the Scouts' efforts to identify abusers and keep them out of scouting were admirable by the standards of the time.

The plaintiffs called Donald Wolff to testify in response. Wolff was on the board of the youth organization Big Brothers and Big Sisters in the 80s.

He said that in 1980, he learned that pedophiles had been using his organization and the Boy Scouts to meet children.

Wolff said that he went to the FBI with the information. And Big Brothers launched a public campaign to ensure that families and volunteers in the program were aware of the risks.

Closing arguments in the case will begin Thursday. Five other plaintiffs are taking part in the suit against the Boy Scouts. Their cases will go to trial separately.

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