'Perversion files' show leaders covered up Boy Scout abuses

AP
In a Tuesday, Oct., 16, 2012 photo, Portland attorney Kelly Clark examines some of the 14,500 pages of previously confidential documents created by the Boy Scouts of America concerning child sexual abuse within the organization, in preparation for releasing the documents Thursday, Oct. 18, as he stands in his office in Portland, Ore. The Boy Scouts of America fought to keep those files confidential.
Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012 4:02 PM
Last updated 4:21 PM
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PORTLAND, Ore. — Again and again, decade after decade, an array of authorities — police chiefs, prosecutors, pastors and local Boy Scout leaders among them — quietly shielded scoutmasters and others accused of molesting children, a newly opened trove of confidential papers shows.

At the time, those authorities justified their actions as necessary to protect the good name and good works of Scouting, a pillar of 20th century America. But as detailed in 14,500 pages of secret “perversion files” released Thursday by order of the Oregon Supreme Court, their maneuvers allowed sexual predators to go free while victims suffered in silence.

The files are a window on a much larger collection of documents the Boy Scouts of America began collecting soon after their founding in 1910. The files, kept at Boy Scout headquarters in Texas, consist of memos from local and national Scout executives, handwritten letters from victims and their parents and newspaper clippings about legal cases. The files contain details about proven molesters, but also unsubstantiated allegations.

The allegations stretch across the country and to military bases overseas, from a small town in the Adirondacks to downtown Los Angeles.

At the news conference Thursday, Portland attorney Kelly Clark blasted the Boy Scouts for their continuing legal battles to try to keep the full trove of files secret.

“You do not keep secrets hidden about dangers to children,” said Clark, who in 2010 won a landmark lawsuit against the Boy Scouts on behalf of a plaintiff who was molested by an assistant scoutmaster in the 1980s.

Clark’s colleague, attorney Paul Mones, said the files “show how pedophiles operate, how child molesters infiltrate youth organizations.”

“These guys (abusers) basically were in a candy store, the way they thought about it,” Mones said.

The Associated Press obtained copies of the files weeks in advance of Thursday’s release and conducted an extensive review of them. Clark also was releasing the documents on his Web site, kellyclarkattorney.com.

The files were shown to a jury in the 2010 Oregon civil suit, and the Oregon Supreme Court ruled the files should be made public. After months of objections and redactions, the Scouts and Clark released them.

In many instances — more than a third, according to the Scouts’ own count — police weren’t told about the reports of abuse. And even when they were, sometimes local law enforcement still did nothing, seeking to protect the name of Scouting over their victims.

Victims like three brothers, growing up in northeast Louisiana.

On the afternoon of Aug. 10, 1965, their distraught mother walked into the third floor of the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office. A 31-year-old scoutmaster, she told the chief criminal deputy, had raped one of her sons and molested two others.

Six days later, the scoutmaster, an unemployed airplane mechanic, sat down in front of a microphone in the same station, said he understood his rights and confessed: He had sexually abused the woman’s sons more than once.

“I don’t know how to tell it,” the man told a sheriff’s deputy. “They just occurred — I don’t know an explanation, why we done it or I done it or wanted to do it or anything else it just — an impulse I guess or something.

“As far as an explanation I just couldn’t dig one up.”

He wouldn’t have to. Seven days later, the decision was made not to pursue charges against the scoutmaster.

The last sliver of hope for justice for the abuse of two teenagers and an 11-year-old boy slipped away in a confidential letter from a Louisiana Scouts executive to the organization’s national personnel division in New Jersey.

“This subject and Scouts were not prosecuted,” the executive wrote, “to save the name of Scouting.”

___

An Associated Press review of the files found that the story of these brothers and their scoutmaster, however horrendous, was not unique.

The files released Thursday were collected between 1959 and 1985, with a handful of others from later years. Some have been released previously, but others — those from prior to 1971, including the story of the three scouts in Ouachita Parish — have been made public for the first time.

The documents reveal that on many occasions the files succeeded in keeping pedophiles out of Scouting leadership positions — the reason why they were collected in the first place. But the files are also littered with horrific accounts of alleged pedophiles who were able to continue in Scouting because of pressure from community leaders and local Scouts officials.

The files also document other troubling patterns. There is little mention in the files of concern for the welfare of Scouts who were abused by their leaders, or what was done for the victims. But there are numerous documents showing compassion for alleged abusers, who were often times sent to psychiatrists or pastors to get help.

In 1972, a local Scouting executive beseeched national headquarters to drop the case against a suspected abuser because he was undergoing professional treatment and was personally taking steps to solve his problem. “If it don’t stink, don’t stir it,” the local executive wrote.

Scouting’s efforts to keep abusers out were often disorganized. There’s at least one memo from a local Scouting executive pleading for better guidance on how to handle abuse allegations. Sometimes the pleading went the other way, with national headquarters begging local leaders for information on suspected abusers, and the locals dragging their feet.

In numerous instances, alleged abusers are kicked out of Scouting but show up in jobs where they are once again in authority positions dealing with youths.

The files also show Scouting volunteers serving in the military overseas, molesting American children living abroad and sometimes continuing to molest after returning to the states.

But one of the most startling revelations to come from the files is the frequency with which attempts to protect Scouts from molesters collapsed at the local level, at times in collusion with community leaders.

It happened when a local district attorney declined to prosecute two confessed offenders; when a three-judge panel included two men on the local Scouting executive board; when law enforcement sought to protect the name of Scouting and let an admitted child molester go free.

Their actions represent a stark betrayal, says Clark, who won the case that opened the files to public view. “It’s kind of a deal. The deal is, our society will give you incredible status and respect, Norman Rockwell will paint pictures of you, and in exchange for that, you take care of our kids,” Clark said. “That’s the deal, incredible respect and privilege. But there was a worm in the apple.”

The Louisiana case certainly contained all the essentials for a police investigation and, perhaps, a conviction: The scoutmaster admitted to raping a 17-year-old boy on a camping trip and otherwise sexually molesting two other boys; the victims corroborated his confession. But evidently, no charges were ever filed.

The man was let off with a warning that should he be found with young men in the future, he was subject to immediate incarceration at the state prison.

The man “was asked to leave the parish, and if he was caught around or near any boy or youth organization, he would be sent to state prison immediately,” a Scouting executive wrote to national headquarters. “We are indeed sorry that Scouting was involved.”

___

With the deadline to disclose the files looming, the Scouts in late September made public an internal review of the files and said they would look into past cases to see whether there were times when men they suspected of sex abuse should have been reported to police.

The files showed a “very low” incidence of abuse among Scout leaders, said psychiatrist Dr. Jennifer Warren, who conducted the review with a team of graduate students and served as an expert witness for the Scouts in the 2010 case that made the files public. Her review of the files didn’t take into account the number of files destroyed on abusers who turned 75 years old or died, something she said would not have significantly affected the rate of abuse or her conclusions.

The rate of abuse among Scouts is the not the focus of their critics — it is, rather, their response to allegations of abuse. In the case of the files released in Portland, most salient is the complicity of local officials in concealing the abuse by Scouts leaders.

Warren told the AP such complicity “was simply quite a natural desire to want to be somewhat protective over (the BSA).”

Certain cases, well-detailed by the Scouts, illustrate how it happened.

In Newton, Kan., in 1961, the county attorney had what he needed for a prosecution: Two men were arrested and admitted that they had molested Scouts in their care.

One of the men said he held an all-night party at his house, during which he brought 10 boys, one by one, into a room where he committed, in his words, “immoral acts.” The same man said he had molested Scouts on an outing two weeks prior to the interrogation.

But neither man was prosecuted. Once again, a powerful local official sought to preserve the name of Scouting.

The entire investigation, the county attorney wrote, was brought about with the cooperation of a local district Scouts executive, who was kept apprised of the investigation’s progress into the men, who had affiliations with both the Scouts and the local YMCA.

“I came to the decision that to openly prosecute would cause great harm to the reputations of two organizations which we have involved here — the Boy Scouts of America and the local YMCA,” he wrote in a letter to a Kansas Scouting executive.

He went on to say that the community would have to pay too great a price for the punishment of the two men. “The damage thusly done to these organizations would be serious and lasting,” he wrote.

___

When cases against Scouts volunteers or executives went forward, locals often tried and sometimes managed to keep the organization’s name out of court documents and the media, protecting a valuable brand.

In Johnstown, Pa., in August 1962, a married 25-year-old steel mill worker with a high school education pleaded guilty to “serious morals” violations involving Scouts.

The Scouting executive who served as both mayor and police chief made sure of one thing: The Scouting name was never brought up. It went beyond the mayor to the members of a three-judge panel, who also deemed it important to keep the Scouts’ names out of the press.

“No mention of Scouting was involved in the case in as much as two of the three judges who pronounced sentence are members of our Executive Board,” the Scouts executive wrote to the national personnel division.

In Rutland, Vt., in 1964, William J. Moreau pleaded guilty to “having lewd relations” with an 11-year-old Scout, according to a contemporary newspaper account. According to the files, the 11-year-old was one of a dozen Scouts who stayed overnight at Vermont’s Camp Sunrise. The Scouts, as is demonstrated repeatedly in the files, talked to the parents about their concern for “the name of the Scouting movement” if charges were brought, but were rebuffed — the parents were insistent on filing charges.

Moreau, a 27-year-old insurance adjuster and assistant Scoutmaster, resigned his position, but a local prosecutor and the police department made sure the Scouting name was never publicly associated with the crime, despite the fact that the abuse was conducted by a Scoutmaster on Scouts at a Scout camp.

“The States Attorney with whom I talked late last night and the local police assure me they will do everything in their power to keep Scouting’s name and Camp Sunrise out of this,” a local Scouts executive wrote in a letter to the national council headquarters.

In newspaper clippings attached to the files detailing Moreau’s charges and his plea, no mention of the Scouts is ever made.

___

Over the years, the mandatory reporting of suspicions of child abuse by certain professionals would take hold nationally. Each state had its own law, and the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act passed in 1974.

The Scouts, however, wouldn’t institute mandatory reporting for suspected child abuse until 2010. They did incorporate other measures, such as a “two-deep” requirement that children be accompanied by at least two adults at all times, and made strides in their efforts to combat pedophilia within their ranks.

According to an analysis of the Scouts’ confidential files by Patrick Boyle, a journalist who was the first to expose about efforts by the BSA to hide the extent of sex abuse among Boy Scout leaders, the Scouts documented internally less than 50 cases per year of Scout abuse by adults until 1983, when the reports began to climb, peaking at nearly 200 in 1989.

Attitudes on child sex abuse began to change after the 1974 law, said University of Houston professor Monit Cheung, a former social worker who has authored a book on child sex abuse.

“Before 1974, you could talk to a social worker who could (then) talk to a molester and that could maybe stop abuse,” Cheung said, noting that most abuse happens within families.

But mandatory reporting made the failure to report suspected abuse a crime.

“That’s the change, that you’re no longer hiding the facts of abuse,” Cheung said.

The case of Timothy Bagshaw in State College, Pa., is illustrative of the changing national attitude to mandatory reporting. Bagshaw, a Scouts leader, was convicted of two counts of corruption of minors in 1985. But he wasn’t the only one to face charges.

The Scouts learned of the abuse months before it was reported, and forced Bagshaw to resign at a meeting, but he wasn’t reported to police. That failure was costly for Juanita Valley Council director Roger W. Rauch, who was charged with failure to notify authorities of suspected child abuse.

“I didn’t know I was supposed to contact anyone. I felt it was the parents’ responsibility,” Rauch told the Centre Daily Times in 1984. “We acted very responsibly.

“I’m concerned that this not get blown out of proportion

Comments (15) Add comment
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OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 10/18/12 - 04:28 pm
5
1
Is this article a fore warning of things to come?

Was there any noted CSRA problems that we will start hearing about in a few weeks?

PC people, after reading the article is there any doubt now why the descriptive name Sexual Predator is used?

These maggots used the scouts as a hunting ground for sexual abuse on kids.

Shame on the Boy Scouts HQ for covering this up for 50+ years.

Lastly, any word on the Girls scouts having similar issues?

faithson
5193
Points
faithson 10/18/12 - 05:41 pm
3
6
hummmm....

wonder if the Boy Scouts will spend 2.5 million to investigate, only to find that it was 'caused' by the 'lax moral attitude' of the 60's. Hope the Boy Scouts don't pick the same investigators as the Catholic Church did.

dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 10/18/12 - 05:56 pm
5
3
Just curious

... how many of the "predators" were female? I inquire, because we've been repeatedly harangued and bullyragged by "gay" organizations to the effect that homosexuals are safe, even desirable, to have in postitions of authority in the scouts. But then, what is the PC term for males who have sex with boys?

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 10/18/12 - 06:23 pm
4
1
Dstewartsr - Not just a term

They formed a national organization to promote their sexual depravity.

It is called the: The North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA).

IRS/Congressional quote: "NAMBLA (the North American Man Boy Love Association) believes in homosexual sex with little boys by 8 years old is ‘‘Free Speech.’’"

These pup tent predators even had legal status as a 501c-3 In Calif.
Not sure now.

Based on the voting some one appears to approve of child rape?

jic
352
Points
jic 10/18/12 - 10:31 pm
5
3
Oh great
Unpublished

Now look at all the self-righteous pseudo-scientists coming out of the woodwork to express their expert opinions.

Dixieman
15357
Points
Dixieman 10/18/12 - 10:34 pm
6
3
And yet

despite this compelling evidence, the gays will still insist that they should be scoutmasters and that being gay is unrelated to child molestation. Sheesh.

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 10/18/12 - 10:59 pm
1
1
Yup Dixieman. All those

Yup Dixieman. All those innocent young men were so well protected by the hetro and asexual men of high moral standings
they looked up to.

F4therTime
4656
Points
F4therTime 10/18/12 - 11:38 pm
6
0
So molesters..
Unpublished

Were sheltered by colleges, churches and the boy scouts and now we are told the statute of limitations have run out on most cases? Why is there a statue of limitations on child rape? That charge should be able to be made until the person dies. Especially since the adults that were supposed to protect these kids failed them on every level.

dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 10/19/12 - 12:02 am
5
2
"... self-righteous pseudo-scientists..."

Not sure what is self righteous about questioning the wisdom of putting homosexuals in positions of authority over young boys- most of the righteous indignation I've observed is from the camp that stridently calls for it, using terms like, "intolerant, bigot, and hater." The only psuedo science are the irreproducable advocacy "studies" which, funded by NAMBLA and gay advocacy organizations, that find there is no danger. In the real world, common sense, and as these crimes show, criminal assaults will occur when gay men are scout leaders. They're not commited by straight men, mind you...

mycomments
330
Points
mycomments 10/19/12 - 12:12 am
1
0
WAGT reports, "Local Names,

WAGT reports, "Local Names, Troop Numbers, Found in Just Released Boy Scout Files". http://www2.nbc26.tv/news/2012/oct/18/local-names-troop-numbers-found-ju...
However, they do not report any names or numbers, but provide a link to the list: http://www.kellyclarkattorney.com/files/

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 10/19/12 - 03:41 am
2
0
A couple in Thomson hit the

A couple in Thomson hit the list.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 10/19/12 - 07:29 am
1
0
Just ran the list

Sorting on State I noted:
Aug 23, 1971 Georgia Fort Gordon
Sep 10, 1984 Georgia Thomson
Sep 17, 1984 Georgia Thomson

The Thomson incidents seem to involve a husband and wife. Reading the BSA notes there is a memo that bluntly states. NO ONE MUST SEE THIS FORM. PLEASE SECURE THE HIGHLIGHTED INFORMATION FROM THE SCHOOL SYSTEM (SS) IF POSSIBLE.
The female (wife) worked for the school system.

South Carolina did not seem to have anything closer than 60 miles of Augusta.

There are a total of 21 cases in GA.

The list covers Nov 9th, 1959 to Apr 11th, 1991
So the BSA has not released data for any legally prosecutable cases still within the statue of limitations. WHY?

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 10/19/12 - 07:44 am
3
1
For those that don't know the difference:

For those that don't know the difference:

Homosexual: of, relating to, or characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward another of the same sex.

Pedophile: An adult who is sexually attracted to a child or children.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 10/19/12 - 01:10 pm
1
1
TechFan

Don't have a heart attack.

I agreed with you on your 07:44AM post.

However, A Homosexual Pedophile is characterized by the sexual desire toward another of the same sex, but also a child or children normally under 14 years old.

With that additional definition, I also wanted to make clear.

A Homosexual Pedophile disgusts the typical Homosexual (Gay) community member as much as a Heterosexual Pedophile disgusts the typical Straight Community.

(Data subject to valid debate was removed. However it may reappear if additional legitimate sources are found that validate it.)

Either way, Children must have special protections from sexual predators and sexual deviants.

jic
352
Points
jic 10/19/12 - 09:44 am
2
3
opencurtain
Unpublished

Site a reference for your stats. No doubt you are quoting the lies of the hate group, Family Research Council.
One observation is clear. Any person or group that continues to be rabidly anti-homosexual in spite of objective science to the contrary, whether Catholic, Boy Scout, or Republican invariably has skeletons in their closet. You will all be exposed for the hypocritical bigots you are. You are no different from your ancestors who falsely accused Jews and blacks of similar "uncontrollable urges."

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 10/19/12 - 09:59 am
1
0
JIC - The Stats from

A study in the Journal of Sex Research
Zebulon A. Silverthorne and Vernon L. Quinsey, "Sexual Partner Age Preferences of Homosexual and Heterosexual Men and Women," Archives of Sexual Behavior 29 (February 2000): 67-76.

Please let me know if in fact I have quoted a bias group, by accident and why?

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 10/19/12 - 10:06 am
1
0
jic 10/19/12 - 09:44 am

jic writes:"You will all be exposed for the hypocritical bigots you are. You are no different from your ancestors who falsely accused Jews and blacks of similar "uncontrollable urges."

Rarley have I seen this issue so well put. A big SHOUT OUT to you on that!

Jake
32770
Points
Jake 10/19/12 - 10:36 am
1
1
Punishment

So do you think the Boy Scouts of America will be punished like Penn State for doing essentially the same thing? I doubt it.

jic
352
Points
jic 10/19/12 - 12:20 pm
1
1
opencurtain
Unpublished

You have indeed. The 'study' was in fact bogus. It in fact showed the both gay and straight men tend to be attracted to young looking faces in pictures and straight women tend to be attracted to somewhat older looking men. None of the pictures used in the study included children, or anyone younger than 18. You might just as well say that because men are attracted to young faces, men must be pedophiles. The study involved 192 subjects (comprised of 4 roughly equivalent groups of gay and straight men and women) who were shown photographs of either male or female faces between the ages of 18 and 60. Participants were then asked to rate their degree of attraction to each face. 

When we read the actual study, guess what we learn? 

First of all, none of the male faces shown to homosexual men and heterosexual women were actually below the age of 18. Got that point? But of course that won't stop the Family Research Council from taking junk science and coming to its own conclusions.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 10/19/12 - 01:26 pm
1
0
Note - debatable remarks modified

JCL

Thank you for taking the time to dig deeper into the data.
I was reading a findings summary. I agree a larger group should have been tested to arrive at the figures presented in the findings.

Also the source is a respected international Research Group Journal and has been around since Masters and Johnson days (1965).
It prides itself on triple checking data and presented documents.

AutumnLeaves
8092
Points
AutumnLeaves 10/19/12 - 03:26 pm
1
0
Report!

How do we emphasize enough that young people must find a trusted adult to report this to, especially when a "trusted adult" is a person that needs to be reported? This is something a child is in no position to fathom, so we must find safeguards and teach children how and to whom to report this safely. Otherwise they are paralyzed with fear and the perpetrator is free to continue the abuse until he is caught or dies.

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