Boy Scout sex abuse files to be released - Dallas News |

Boy Scout sex abuse files to be released

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Decades of records that name Boys Scouts of America volunteers and employees who were suspected of sex abuse could be released in the coming weeks.

Last year the Irving-based scouting organization went to trial in Oregon and lost a case involving sexual abuse in the 1980s.

The judge ordered the Boy Scouts to pay $20 million and turn over hidden files that included what the organization called a perversion file, or cases of suspected abuse.

 "We regret that 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," the Boy Scouts of America said in a written statement.

The records spanning 1965 to 1985 are expected to be made public in three to four weeks.  Those who have seen them claim the Boy Scouts in most cases never reported the suspected abuse to law enforcement.

A Dallas attorney who has handled unrelated sexual abuse cases is watching the developments.

"This volume of files maintained by one organization has not ever happened before. But when you pair it with other abuse scandals we've seen, you really begin to wonder if we're not educating folks enough about how to deal with this sort of situation," said Attorney Trey Branham.

The Scouts said they do now require everyone in the organization to undergo protective training on how to spot abuse and they also encourage young scouts to watch for abuse and report it.

"We have always cooperated fully with law enforcement, and now require our members to report even suspicion of abuse directly to local law enforcement," the organization said.

There is also another case against the Scouts making its way through the courts in San Antonio. Lawyers are requesting even more files, and if they are successful information for 1985 to 2001 could be released.

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