A Portland judge has ordered the release of thousands of secret files documenting child sexual abuse within the Boy Scouts.
But Judge John Wittmayer has given the scouts a chance to plan an appeal before he actually makes the files public. The Judge also wants to redact the files to remove the names of children who were abused.
Wittmayer says the files aren’t confidential because the Oregon constitution clearly gives the public a right to see all the evidence used in a jury trial.
Earlier this spring, the files were part of a civil suit against the scouts. A jury found them negligent and awarded 20 million dollars in damages.
Kristian Roggendorff is an attorney for the plaintiff.
Kristian Roggendorff: “Its so important that these be released. And the reason is, because child abuse thrives in secrecy.”
The scouts thanked Judge Wittmayer for not immediately making the files public.
Six media organizations including OPB had joined the lawsuit to release the files. A dozen groups that advocate for abuse victims also stated their support.
The case could now go to the Oregon Appeals Court or directly to the Oregon Supreme Court.