A trove of some 14,500 pages from the Boy Scouts' so-called "perversion files" have been made public, and the files show that on numerous occasions local officials helped cover up abuse allegations.
A Portland attorney held a news conference on Thursday after which he made the files available.
The documents date from 1959 to 1985. This is the first time the earliest documents — those from 1959 to 1971 — have been made public.
The documents show that in many instances the files succeeded in keeping pedophiles out of Scouting, but many times they did not.
The Simon Kenton Council of the Boy Scouts Of America released a statement late Thursday.
“The BSA has continuously enhanced our policies and procedures to ensure we are in line with and, where possible, ahead of society’s knowledge of abuse and best practices for prevention. We require background checks, local screening of volunteers, comprehensive training programs, and mandatory reporting of even suspected abuse," Simon Kenton Council CEO Jeff Moe said. "Under today’s policies, any suspicion of abuse is immediately reported to law enforcement.”
The Associated Press obtained copies of the files weeks in advance and conducted an extensive review of them.