Our news partner KING5, through investigative reporter Susannah Frame, has obtained secret files that the Boy Scouts of America have been keeping for decades on leaders and other volunteers in the organization who have been accused of sexually abusing children. The files also show a pattern of child abuse in Washington state, according to the KING5 investigation.
Below is the introduction to the story, followed by a link to the full report and videos.
KING 5 News
The KING 5 Investigators have obtained secret files once locked up inside one of the country’s most trusted youth organizations: the Boy Scouts of America.
Since 1919 the Scouts have been compiling files on Scout leaders-scoutmasters, assistant scoutmasters and other volunteers from across the country-accused of sexually abusing children; many of whom were young scouts in their troops. The files number in the thousands.
“Perversion Files” detail abuse
For decades, only top Scouting officials knew about the files, which are often referred to as the “perversion files”. Each one contains details on a different Scout leader suspected of abusing children. The records include police reports, victim statements, notes on phone calls with parents, newspaper clippings, and official letters from the Scouts organization alerting the suspected molester that he’d been banned from Scouting for life…
Contents of the files
In some cases in Washington state Scout leaders quietly removed accused abusers from their positions and put them on the ineligible volunteer list, without alerting law enforcement. The sample of files obtained by the KING 5 Investigators show that in most cases the Scouts found out about sex crimes from media reports and law enforcement.
You can read KING5’s full investigation here. You can also find links to associated videos there.