Boy Scouts' Secret Files On Suspected Child Molesters Show Decades of Abuse, Unknown Numbers of Victims

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The Los Angeles Times has obtained more than two decades of deeply disturbing confidential case files kept by the Irving-based Boy Scouts of America, detailing suspected child molesters in their ranks. The files, which were kept by the Scouts for nearly 100 years, were meant to bar pedophiles from further activity in the organization. A database on the 5,000 men and a few women expelled from the Scouts between 1947 and 2005 reveals around 300 abuse cases in Texas and almost two dozen just in Dallas.

The files make three things clear: Although the abusers didn't fit any particular profile, all of them engaged in extensive "grooming" behavior to earn the trust of their victims, in many cases buying them alcohol, showing them pornography and having sleep-overs. Between 1970 and 1991, the organization itself often failed to report suspected abuse to police, instead "urg[ing] admitted offenders to quietly resign." And the victims are almost certainly more numerous than what's outlined in the existing case files: the Scouts destroyed unknown numbers of additional files in the 1990s.

The Times gained access to 1,900 detailed case files from the last two decades, as well as summaries of 3,100 more cases opened between 1947 and 2005. Both came from Seattle lawyer Timothy Kosnoff, whose practice focuses exclusively on representing survivors of childhood sex abuse, and who has sued the Scouts more than 100 times.

Only one Dallas case in the Times database has a document attached to it: John McGrew, a Scout leader and elementary school teacher who in 1988 was convicted of aggravated sexual assault and indecency with a child and sentenced to life in prison. In 1984, McGrew fondled an eight-year-old boy, one of his troop members, in his classroom and at his home. At his trial, 16 other boys testified that he had abused them as well. Two months before his arrest, he was featured in Scouting magazine, which praised his "caring and continuous involvement with every boy in his troop."

Boy Scouts of America has faced harsh criticism for failing to inform the police, something the Times found happened in more than 400 cases. Moreover, the organization often actively helped to cover up abuse claims: "Volunteers and employees suspected of abuse were allowed to leave citing bogus reasons such as business demands, 'chronic brain dysfunction' and duties at a Shakespeare festival." Some of the men accused of abuse were able to slip back into the program and abuse yet again.

The organization declined to speak with the L.A. Times, instead releasing a statement yesterday .

"Where those involved in Scouting failed to protect, or worse, inflicted harm on children, we extend our deepest and sincere apologies to victims and their families," part of it reads. But, it adds: "Experts have found that the BSA's system of ineligible volunteer files functions well to help protect Scouts by denying entry to potentially dangerous individuals, and Scouting believes they play an important role in our comprehensive Youth Protection system."

The BSA says they've updated their policies and procedures to help prevent abuse, and moreover, " while mistakes clearly occurred, the system has functioned well in its goal of keeping many unfit adults out of Scouting."


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12 comments
myownstar
myownstar

Mormons run 95%of the boyscout troops. In this picture you see the end of mormonism. Why? It is Moroni on a horse. Why have you never seen him on a horse, because there were no horses during the time the book of mormon was supposed to occur in. It is a gigantic colossal screw up. Any sixth grader knows the Europeans brought horses to America. You will never forget that avatar. What it means. You can no longer hide from the truth, that little image in your mind won't let you. You must either leave the church or know your whole life is a lie. Donate to Protect Boy Scouts From Perverted Mormons http://www.cafepress.com/andwhatknot Copy and paste image please. http://www.flickr.com/photos/87251837@N08/8073027708/

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

Hmmm.  hadn't considered this before, but it really gives the term *Boy* Scouts new relevance.

DeathBreath
DeathBreath

This is starting to have a familiar ring to it.   When people say, "I love working with children", I grow suspicious of their motives.  Even law enforcement is not immune to pedophilic behavior.  The Explorers program has allowed pedophiles, disguised as cops, to molest many.  Yet, Churches, law enforcement agencies, school districts, & universities turn a blind eye to the problem.  Boy Scouts are no different.  As long as pedophiles are moved around like "musical chairs", this problem will remain.  

bifftannen
bifftannen

This, and now allowing gay scouts into their ranks is why I will not let me sons join the scouts.

Rachelle Campbell
Rachelle Campbell

If you allow your child to be involved in any extracurricular activity without close supervision there is a risk for abuse. Sports, school, or boyscouts... and please don't forget being left alone with close relatives & friends.

Gene Albritton
Gene Albritton

maybe some past molesters will get to do some prison time!!!

Crystal Means
Crystal Means

It was just a matter of time...I never let my son join for this very reason...that place is a breeding ground for perverts...those poor kids...

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @myownstar 95% of Boy Scout troops ARE NOT run by Mormons.  That is an asinine claim

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