IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) – The Irving-based Boy Scouts of America faces new allegations of possibly covering up child abuse decades earlier than previously alleged.
Hundreds of new documents were obtained by the Los Angeles Times. They were developed in the aftermath of a 20-million dollar judgment where the plaintiff charged he was molested years earlier during his scouting days.
The documents were reportedly contained in the Boy Scouts confidential files. And according to the LA Times it was a blacklist of accused molesters containing a new 1600 files dating from 1970 to 1991.
The Times claims in more than 500 cases the scouting leaders learned of potential abuse from the kids, their parents, or anonymous sources. But in the vast majority of those cases the newspaper claims there is no record of the scouts reporting the allegations to police. They also show–according to the Times–that in many cases the organization failed to drum the suspected abusers out of scouting and in fact may have helped them “cover their tracks.”
Locally, we talked to some scouting parents. “It’s hard, you can’t trust anybody,” says Bob Ochoa. His boys were scouts in their youth, but after they grew up he says they told him about alleged molestation stories they’d heard from other boys. He says he would not allow them to join today. “I would definitely say no. I would not let them do this, oh, no. Not nowadays.”
Lee Ann Bradord, another scouting parent of both boys and girls says her kids were never left alone with a single leader. “We just always had two adults when any of the boys or girls were alone; it was kind of like a buddy system. But always two adults deep,” she says, adding, “For safety and to keep somebody from being able to claim something that would be inappropriate.” Would she let her children join the Boy Scouts today? Yes. “I think it teaches good morals gives them a set of basic human codes.”
A third man, Tad Radziwanowski, offered his support as well. “I think it’s a very good organization,” he said adding, “You always hear somebody say negative things about something but most of the time it’s (scouting) positive.”
The Boy Scouts of America released the following statement on the issue.
“The Boy Scouts of America believes that one instance of abuse is far too many. We regret there have been times when despite the BSA’s best efforts to protect children, Scouts were abused, and for that we are very sorry and extend our deepest sympathies to victims. Today, numerous independent experts have recognized that the education and training programs protecting Scouts are among the best in the youth-serving community. We have always cooperated fully law enforcement, and now require our members to report even suspicion of abuse directly to local law enforcement. Recent media reports looked at a subset of the BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer Files from approximately 40 years ago, when the BSA served approximately 5 million young people each year. In the more than 100 years that the BSA has served youth, society has learned about this important issue. The BSA continuously enhanced its multi-tiered policies and procedures, which now include background checks, comprehensive training programs, and safety policies.”