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Archive for Friday, October 19, 2012

Boy Scout ‘perversion files’ have 14 Kansas cases

In this 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, in his office in Portland, Ore. The Boy Scouts of America fought to keep those files confidential.

In this 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, in his office in Portland, Ore. The Boy Scouts of America fought to keep those files confidential.

October 19, 2012

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— An array of local authorities — police chiefs, prosecutors, pastors and town Boy Scout leaders among them — quietly shielded scoutmasters and others who allegedly molested children, according to a newly opened trove of confidential files compiled from 1959 to1985.

At the time, those authorities justified their actions as necessary to protect the good name and good works of Scouting. But as detailed in 14,500 pages of secret "perversion files" released Thursday by order of the Oregon Supreme Court, their maneuvers protected suspected sexual predators while victims suffered in silence.

The files document sex abuse allegations across the country, from a small town in the Adirondacks to downtown Los Angeles. The confidential files kept for years by Boy Scouts of America detailing allegations of sexual abuse against boys include 14 cases from Kansas.

Six of the 14 cases detailed in files released Thursday were from troops in Wichita. Other cases were from Olathe, Arkansas City, Manhattan, Newton, Kansas City, Hoisington and two from Leavenworth.

The Boy Scouts released about 14,500 pages of what are being called "perversion files" on cases across the country dating from 1959 to 1985.

A Portland law firm that made the files available stressed that simply because a case is on the list does not mean the allegations are true. Some of the national cases resulted in court sentences but others have not been substantiated or were dropped.

At a 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.

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

The Associated Press obtained copies of the files weeks ahead of Thursday's release and conducted an extensive review of them, but agreed not to publish the stories until the files were released.

The new 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

Many of the files released on Thursday have been written about before, but this is the first time the earliest ones have been put in the public domain.

The 1959-85 files show that on many occasions the files succeeded in keeping pedophiles out of Scouting leadership positions — the reason they were collected in the first place.

But the files document some troubling patterns.

In many instances — more than a third, according to the Scouts' own count — police weren't told about the alleged abuse.

And there is little mention in the files of concern for the welfare of Scouts who were allegedly abused by their leaders. But there are numerous documents showing compassion for suspected abusers, who were often times sent to psychiatrists or pastors to get help.

In 1972, a Pennsylvania Scouting executive wrote a memo recommending a case against a suspected abuser be dropped with the words: "If it don't stink, don't stir it."

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.

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

On the afternoon of Aug. 10, 1965, a distraught Louisiana mother walked into 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 sat down in the same station and confessed.

"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," the man told a sheriff's deputy.

The decision was made not to pursue charges. "This subject and Scouts were not prosecuted," a Louisiana Scouts executive wrote to national headquarters, "to save the name of Scouting."

In a statement on Thursday, Scouts spokesman Deron Smith said" ''There is nothing more important than the safety of our Scouts."

Smith said there have been times when Scouts' responses to sex abuse allegations were "plainly insufficient, inappropriate, or wrong" and the organization extends its "deepest and sincere apologies to victims and their families."

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 abusers 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.

Throughout the files released Thursday are cases in which steps were taken to protect Scouting's image.

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. But neither man was prosecuted.

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.

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.


Associated Press writers Matt Sedensky in West Palm Beach, Fla.; Rebecca Boone in Boise, Idaho; and Shannon Dininny in Yakima, Wash., contributed to this report.

Comments

Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

Hopefully any person accused of assault or of covering up an assault will receive unbiased due process and be sentenced appropriately if found guilty. Naturally, that goes for anyone accused of anything.

Innocent until proven guilty. This is the sort of case that makes people forget that tenet of American justice, so now is when it is most important.

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Roland Gunslinger 1 year, 6 months ago

Most pedophiles are white heterosexual males, who also tend to be more religious than the average person.

Sounds like a few of the conservative posters on here fit that profile. Maybe the ones trying to imply it's homosexuals in order to cover up their own misdeeds.

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kansanbygrace 1 year, 6 months ago

Boy Scouts of America has a program called Venture Scouts, used to be Exploring, which is open to young women as well as young men. It's a 14-and up organization.

This data base included names of people hinted, suspected, accused, charged and acquited and charged and convicted. They were almost all between 1965 and 1985 or so. Since the late '70's, Scouting has put together a very thorough and painstaking system of review of scouters and their references, background checks all the way to the FBI, training and re-training of all adult volunteers every 2 years. 2-deep adult leadership is mandatory at every get-together. Every Scout must take a buddy (fellow Scout, normally) even to a meeting with a Merit Badge counselor, and 18 other sensible, practical rules.

I've taught Red Cross, ASA, 4-H, church and Scouts, and the Scouting program's youth protection program today is more comprehensive and protective of Scouts than any other I've seen.

BSA has been taking this very, very seriously in the decades since these cases occurred, as well they should.

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atiopatioo 1 year, 6 months ago

Why don't the Scouts allow girls in the Scout organization? Are they misogynists? If they allow homosexuals, why not female heterosexuals female homosexuals or transgenderd or a-sexual?

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akt2 1 year, 6 months ago

The perverts are everywhere the kids are. So basically you can't really trust anyone. Churchs, youth groups, schools, scouts, team sports, the list goes on. Society needs to learn to recognize these chamelions. Then when they are identified, swift justice by whatever means necessary.

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Mike Ford 1 year, 6 months ago

I'm pretty sure my assistant cub scout leader in Manhattan, Kansas, was one of the cases. I was a cub scout at a Baptist Church near the Northview neighborhood and Tuttle Creek in 1981. We went on a campout near Flush, Kansas, and my classmate had already been sodomized by an assistant scout master and was trying to recruit and groom me for him on that trip. I got the creeps and left the tent. The assistant scoutmaster got seven years in Lansing for the sodomy of my classmate when we were sixth graders. Thirty years later as a ministers kid I see through the hypocracy of family values and scouting.

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blindrabbit 1 year, 6 months ago

Maybe not the 4-H, but I was suspicious as a youth in YMCA in California where all of the young kids (boys only, I don't think the girls did) swam in the nude, me included. Never did see or experience anything out of sorts, but just kinda strange.

Many of these groups, YMCA, BSA, GSA have similar foundations to the youth groups that were so popular in Europe, and especially Germany prior to and during WW2. Not saying any connection, but just coincidenal, maybe.

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ShePrecedes 1 year, 6 months ago

You never hear about this sort of thing with 4-H.

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midwestmom 1 year, 6 months ago

Sad irony that the Boy Scouts of America continued to fight the release of the damaging (to their image) documents. If they TRULY CARED ABOUT SCOUTS AND MAKING AMENDS THEY WOULD BE ACTIVELY ADVOCATING FOR OPEN RECORDS and would help comb through their archives to find the victims of the molesters and offer their apologies and any support they could....

Saying one thing and doing the other makes a lie of "... the organization extends its "deepest and sincere apologies to victims and their families."

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Patricia Davis 1 year, 6 months ago

BSA needs to be held accountable and prosecuted, sued and all of those people who chose to save the BSA"brand" need to be brought to justice. I stopped giving to United Way years ago because of the BSA's ultra Christian no atheists allowed mentality.

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Agnostick 1 year, 6 months ago

"Facts About Homosexuality and Child Molestation"

http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html

"The distinction between a victim's gender and a perpetrator's sexual orientation is important because many child molesters don't really have an adult sexual orientation. They have never developed the capacity for mature sexual relationships with other adults, either men or women. Instead, their sexual attractions focus on children – boys, girls, or children of both sexes."

Conclusion

"The empirical research does not show that gay or bisexual men are any more likely than heterosexual men to molest children. This is not to argue that homosexual and bisexual men never molest children. But there is no scientific basis for asserting that they are more likely than heterosexual men to do so. And, as explained above, many child molesters cannot be characterized as having an adult sexual orientation at all; they are fixated on children."

(It's kind of odd, but when reading the section "Typologies of Offenders".... I couldn't help but remember a particular radio program host who took a weekend flight to the Dominican Republic a few years back in a private, chartered jet... with a big bottle of Viagra, the prescription label bearing someone else's name...)

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jimincountry 1 year, 6 months ago

There are abberations from the normal distrbution in all populations, including people. That's why majority should rule with recognition of minority rights. Minority rights does not mean "take over the social mores of the majority."

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Agnostick 1 year, 6 months ago

ShePrecedes is right; "SageonPage" is wrong, again, not surprisingly.

"Pedophiles and child molesters share some characteristics. Most are male, and they can be heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. Some prefer adult sex partners but choose children because they are available and vulnerable. The sexual abuse perpetrated may be a 1-time incident and may consist only of fondling. Penetration is unlikely with young children. Perpetrators' ages range from teens to midlife. Most victims are girls, and the perpetrator usually is a relative, friend, or neighbor. The home of the victim is often the setting for the incident. When boys are victims, sexual abuse may take place outside the home, and perpetrators may be strangers. Perpetrators of sexual abuse of children often claim that they themselves were victims of childhood sexual abuse. Psychological profiles are helpful but are compromised partly because many perpetrators are prisoners and control groups are lacking for this research."

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10766112

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Agnostick 1 year, 6 months ago

  • Those inmates who were convicted of committing violent acts against children were more like to have been white, a percentage of nearly 70%, than any other race.
  • White inmates were nearly three times more likely to have victimized a child than black inmates.
  • About one in every seven Hispanic convicts had been convicted for a crime against a child.
  • Nearly two-thirds of convicted child molesters and/or offenders were or had been married.
  • Child molesters and offenders were more likely to have grown up in a two parent home and were more likely to have been molested as a child.
  • Approximately 22% of child offenders reported having been sexually abused as a child.

Source:

http://childprotection.lifetips.com/cat/63573/sex-offender-statistics/index.html

(bottom of page)

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ShePrecedes 1 year, 6 months ago

Puts a new meaning on the Eagle Scout honor, doesn't it? 99% of all child molestors are men, according to Gavin de Becker. De Becker has taught: When you put your kids out into this world, remember they are most in danger with men. When you teach your child how to protect themselves, always have them seek the help of women. It is a good idea to take your young boy to the bathroom in the ladies room until they are old enough to fight molestation off for themselves. Listen to your child when they resist being alone with one of your friends or relatives. Those children may not feel confident enough to tell you how they feel, but they sure can indicate those feelings if you are adult enough and supportive enough to sense their resistance. Trust your child to indicate to you what is best for them when it comes to their safety. A meek child is generally a good target for sexual predators. Do not raise meek children. http://gavindebecker.com/, http://gavindebecker.com/resources/book/protecting_the_gift/

No social system is better at protecting your kids than yourself and those kids. Don't wait for some social system to come along and do it for you. Protect them yourself.

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firebird27 1 year, 6 months ago

Having been a Scout leader, I was in a position to know about this issue, and some of these comments are off the mark. Any organization should be accountable in regard to child abuse, but in my Scouting position, I was called by the Council office as to the status of some individuals. As seen with current events, some child abusers move from place to place, and I was asked if a certain person came from a particular city. The aim was to make sure that our local district was not penetrated by any child abuser. When I was a leader, there were a couple of cases where leaders were dismissed (not in Lawrence however).

For many years, Scouting has had the policy that there must be a minimum of two adults present when Scouts are present. I once told a Scout who wanted me to be his merit badge counselor that he would need to have a parent accompany him in order to comply with this policy.

Once again, every organization needs to be responsible. I doubt if there is a youth organization in the USA that does not face this potential problem. Scouting is a fine organization. I found that Scouts learn a great deal about leadership, how to take care of themselves in nature, and how to work with other people. Scouting does good work, and independent evaluators have argued that donations to the BSA are a high return for the investment. Unfortunately, Scouting can attract adults with less than principled motives.

3

oletimer 1 year, 6 months ago

wonder if there is any coincidence between this and the gay person being kicked out of the scouts? I would bet it is.

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toe 1 year, 6 months ago

The United Way funded many of these Scouts and should be held accountable.

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blindrabbit 1 year, 6 months ago

I have always felt that the BSA is a potential hotbed for perverted closeted scout leaders. The fact that the BSA purports to be so Christian and so opposed to homosexual attitudes indicates a rather bizzare fascination with the subject. Letting young impressionable youth troop off with some of the scout leaders I have known makes me think of the Catholic Church and it's problems with abuse. Many years ago I decided not to contribute to the United Way because of my BSA suspicions. Yes, I know about the designation of UW funds away from a specified group, but I'd rather support a group directly

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SageonPage 1 year, 6 months ago

This is a good example as to why they do want to discriminate against Homosexuals, so this kind of ugly tragedy stops. Sounds as if the Homosexual Predators hide in this organization to prey on children.

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Enlightenment 1 year, 6 months ago

Gay marriage doesn't lead to a society of perversion, Scouting does.

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paulveer 1 year, 6 months ago

But be sure to keep the gays and atheists out!

I spent my entire youth and adolescence in Scouting, three badges short of eagle. I have long since all lost pride from my association, and all trust in the institution. None of my children or grandchildren have participated in Scouting.

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