IRVING (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Thousands of pages from the ‘Ineligible Volunteer’ list that were kept by the Irving-based Boy Scouts of America have been released.
The confidential files on more than 1,000 Boy Scout volunteers accused of molesting children are now out in the open, the outcome of a lawsuit won by an Oregon attorney.
Twenty years of boy scout files, detailing men who sexually targeted boys, are no longer kept from the public. Over 30 of those files are incidents in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.
For lawyers who have been battling the Boy Scouts for release of the information, it’s a ‘treasure trove.’
For decades, the Boy Scouts of America kept information detailing scout sex abuse allegations secret.
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.
In Dallas, a 1987 letter to scout volunteer John McGrew suspends him from the organization. Seven months later, the former Dallas teacher receives a life sentence for molesting boys. He sits in state prison today.
Critics have deemed the confidential files fuel for child predators, using scouting as a cover.
Attorney Paul Mones addressed the significance of releasing the files in Thursday’s press conference. “They represent a body of knowledge that the Boy Scouts of America had that no other youth organization had at that time or since… Unfortunately, we know the lessons that still have to learn. The Sandusky case is an idle example. The way he operated is the same way many of these scout leaders operated.”
Boy Scout Youth Protection Director Michael Johnson, along with BSA President Wayne Perry acknowledged a pattern of keeping lists of troop leaders and volunteers tied to child sex abuse under an exclusive cloak of secrecy, known as “Ineligible Volunteer” files.
Johnson says many of the victims had no intention of their cases ever being made public. “We have always maintained these files should be kept confidential. We apologize.
The BSA argues their files protected children.
A full release from the Boy Scouts, including information on the cases, can be found on the website BSAYouthProtection.org.
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