Boy Scouts Must Give Public Access To Perversion Files, Judge Rules

The Boy Scouts of America must release their long protected “perversion files” to the public. A judge overseeing the request to release the files ruled that they should be made available in order to protect the public and because they had already been released in a very public lawsuit.

The so-called “perversion files” were compiled by the Boy Scouts of America over two decades in an attempt to monitor illegal activities while removing those scout leaders from their positions. The perversion files include the names and details for more than 1,200 child molesters, suspected child molesters and other men with lesser offenses from 1965 to 1985.

The perversion files first came to light when they were used as evidence in a 2010 Oregon ruling. In that case the court ruled that the Boy Scouts of American failed to protect a plaintiff who was molested by an assistant scoutmaster in the early 1980s.

The perversion files are not a quick read, containing more than 20,000 pages that involve everything from child sexual assault to lesser offenses.

The Boy Scouts of America fought to keep the files sealed because some scout masters were never found guilty of the offenses they were accused of committing.

After learning that the files were being protected various news agencies including the The Oregonian and The New York Times asked the court to open the files to the public, arguing that their use in a lawsuit made them ready for public consumption.

In a 1972 memo executives at the Boy Scouts of America said they wanted to protect the perversion files “because of misunderstandings which could develop if it were widely distributed.”

Do you think the perversion files need to be made available to the public?