The Boys Scouts of America (BSA) is involved in a sex abuse scandal that some are comparing to the sex abuse scandal involving the Catholic Church. In fact, both organizations successfully fought against New York’s proposed Child Victims Act which would have extended or eliminated the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse victims to file charges against their abusers. As men and boys continue to come forward, the BSA is considering bankruptcy.
The Perversion Files
The BSA kept 1,247 files documenting sexual abuse which occurred between 1965 and 1984. Referred to as the “perversion files” the collection included 7,819 volunteers within the organization who were accused of child sexual abuse and 12,254 Boy Scouts who were their victims.
Although the organization labelled the perpetrators as ineligible volunteers, it did not report the crimes to law enforcement, the public, or even to the parents of Boy Scouts. No one was warned about the pedophiles who were rejected from the organization and it turns out that at least 50 were able to rejoin the BSA.
The BSA fought to keep the files a secret but during a lawsuit in 2012, it was court-ordered to release the files up through 1984. However, in 2015 the organization chose to settle another sex abuse lawsuit brought by a former Boy Scout who alleged that his scoutmaster had molested him. By settling, instead of going to trial, BSA was able to keep 100,000 pages of its perversion files, documenting cases from 1991 to 2007, hidden from the public.