Court orders release of US boy scout abuse files


PORTLAND – The Oregon Supreme Court yesterday ordered the release of 20,000 pages of confidential Boy Scouts of America records dubbed the “perversion files” documenting suspected or confirmed sexual abuse by its leaders and volunteers.

But the court ruled that the names in the six cartons of papers be redacted before the files are made available to the public to protect victims, those reporting abuse and others involved.

The documents were admitted as evidence in a 2010 civil trial in which an Oregon jury found the Boy Scouts of America, headquartered in Texas, liable in a 1980s paedophile case and ordered the organisation to pay nearly $20 million (€16 million) in damages.

Attorney Kelly Clark, representing abuse victims, has said the files revealed that an average of nearly 60 Boy Scout leaders or volunteers a year were discovered to have been molesting children from 1965 to 1985.

“The released documents represent the largest . . . data collection system on child sexual abuse maintained by an organisation in the nation,” another lawyer for abuse victims, Paul Mones, said. “Not even the Catholic Church has such a system.” Attorneys for victims estimated the papers would be ready for release to the public within a few days. – (Reuters)