The Los Angeles Times on Tuesday released about 1,200 previously unpublished files kept by the Boys Scouts of America on volunteers and employees expelled for suspected sexual abuse. The files, redacted of victims’ names and other identifiers, are from a database released by order of the Oregon Supreme Court in October. The material represents the most complete accounting of suspected sexual abuse in the Scouts that has been made public. All of the material was obtained as a result of lawsuits against the Scouts by alleged abuse victims or by media organizations. The Boy Scouts kept the files for nearly a century for internal use only.
The latest dossiers — used as evidence in a 1992 court case — are among those reviewed by the Times for a series of stories over the last year, which detailed the Scouts’ repeated efforts to keep allegations from police, parents and the public and its resistance to performing criminal background checks on all volunteers. The BSA’s inaction or delayed response to allegations at times allowed alleged molesters to continue sexually abusing children. The alleged abusers — including doctors, teachers, priests and other professionals — commonly preyed on children without father figures or gained the trust of both parents. The Boy Scouts of America says it has improved its youth protection policies over time and now is regarded by many experts as a national leader in the field. It has conducted criminal background checks on all volunteers since 2008 and since 2010 has mandated any suspicion of abuse be reported to police.