LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) – An investigation by the Los Angeles Times has found that the Boy Scouts of America failed to report hundreds of suspected child sex abusers to authorities and often helped cover up the accusations over two decades.

Last month a Texas Judge ordered the Irving-based organization to produce the secret files it keeps to prevent accused pedophiles from becoming employees of or volunteers for the organization.

On Sunday, the LA Times reported that a review of 1,600 of the organization’s confidential “perversion” files dating from 1970 to 1991 revealed that leaders often helped suspected molesters push the allegations under the rug.

The L.A. Times provided an example of the alleged coverup, writing:

In 1982, a Michigan Boy Scout camp director who learned of allegations of repeated abuse by a staff member told police he didn’t promptly report them because his bosses wanted to protect the reputation of the Scouts and the accused staff member.

“He stated that he had been advised by his supervisors and legal counsel that he should neutralize the situation and keep it quiet,” according to a police report in the file.

An official statement was posted on the Boy Scouts of America webpage Monday. It said, in part, “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.

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