The names of more than 1,200 people accused of sexually abusing children while in the Boy Scouts between 1965 and 1985, were released to the public Thursday.
Portland lawyer, Kelly Clark, who specializes in child abuse cases, has been lookingthrough the files for the last two years. He says they include instances where volunteers and staff were accused of repeatedly abusing children. Worse still, he says, the Scouts had a probationary system, those accused of abuse were given a second chance.
Clark explained, “So a cub scout master is caught sleeping in the nude with cub scouts and showing them pornography. And the letter from the boy scout executive says, ‘Well I agree that that’s really bad judgement. But I’m not sure than in an of itself, it’s enough to kick the man out of scouting.’”
The Boy Scouts of America released a statement saying, the files exist solely to remove and keep unfit individuals out of the organization. In a statement published on the organization’s website, the national president, Wayne Perry conceded that in certain cases, the group’s response was insufficient, inappropriate, or wrong. And he apologized.
The Scouts have also announced plans to hand over the names those accused of abusing children to law enforcement. Scouting volunteers and staff must now: have acriminal background check; complete youth protection training; and they have to report any instance of even suspected abuse.
OPB was a party to a lawsuit by several journalism outlets to make the files public.