PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Thousands of pages of newly-released documents show that for decades, scoutmasters and others who were accused of molesting children were protected by police, prosecutors, pastors and local Boy Scout leaders.
At the time, those authorities justified their actions as being necessary to protect the good name and good works of the Scouts.
But the nearly 15,000 pages of "perversion" files that were released today reveal that they were allowing sexual predators to go free while victims suffered in silence.
The files are part of a much larger collection that the Boy Scouts of America began keeping soon after the organization was founded in 1910. The files were released by order of the Oregon Supreme Court.
They include details of a 1965 case in Louisiana, in which a mother told sheriff's deputies that a scoutmaster had raped one of her sons and molested two others. Days later, the scoutmaster confessed. But a decision was made not to pursue charges against him.
A Louisiana Scouts executive wrote to the organization's national office, saying that the man wasn't prosecuted "to save the name of Scouting."
137-a-10-(Matt Stewart, Boy Scout abuse victim, in AP interview)-"age of 18"-Boy Scout abuse victim Matt Stewart says most of his youth was haunted by a terrible secret. (18 Oct 2012)
<<CUT *137 (10/18/12)>> 00:10 "age of 18"
141-a-16-(Tom Kosnoff, attorney for Boy Scout abuse victims Tom and Matt Stewart, in AP interview)-"Scouts certainly knew"-Attorney Tom Kosnoff, who represents Boy Scout abuse victims Tom and Matt Stewart, says the Boy Scouts of America shouldn't have been silent about pedophilia within the organization. ((note cut length)) (18 Oct 2012)
<<CUT *141 (10/18/12)>> 00:16 "Scouts certainly knew"
GRAPHICSBANK: Boy Scouts of America logo, on texture, partial graphic (18 Oct 2012)
APPHOTO WATW302: In this Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012 photo, Boy Scout abuse victim Tom Stewart poses for a photo with his old Scout uniform outside the Boy Scout Camp Kilworth in Federal Way, Wash. Former Boy Scouts still struggle to cope with the abuse they suffered at the hands of Scout leaders, and those who are willing to tell the stories of their abuse have come to feel abandoned by an organization considered a pillar of American society. "There are so many victims who have suffered in silence. Marriages and relationships with their kids have suffered," said Stewart, a 46-year-old engineer for Boeing. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) (16 Aug 2012)
<<APPHOTO WATW302 (08/16/12)>>
APPHOTO SE301: This family photo provided by Tom Stewart shows him, right, and his younger brother Matt, left, in their scout uniforms. The brothers settled out-of-court after suing the Boy Scouts in 2003 for abuse they had suffered at the hands of one of their Scoutmasters. The Stewarts are angry that the Boy Scouts of America have fought to keep confidential thousands of files the organization has kept since the early 1900s on suspected pedophiles within their ranks. The Stewarts say releasing the files decades ago would have helped stop pedophiles. (AP Photo/Courtesy Tom Stewart) (4 Oct 2012)
<<APPHOTO SE301 (10/04/12)>>