US Boy Scouts hid sex abuse: Report

2012-09-17 10:09
(AP, File)

(AP, File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - The Boy Scouts of America failed to report hundreds of alleged child molesters over two decades and often left parents in the dark as a means to save face, the Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday.

After reviewing 1 600 confidential files dated 1970-1991 from the century-old organisation, the Times found more than 500 instances in which the Scouts learned of abuse directly from boys, parents, staff or anonymous tips, rather than after the incidents were reported to the authorities.

And in about 80% of those cases, there was no record of the Scouts reporting the abuse claims to authorities. The Times also found that officials actively sought to hide the allegations or allowed the suspects to conceal the abuse claims in more than 100 of the cases.

Although the organisation, which counts nearly four million adult and youth members, has long sought to keep the "perversion files" out of public view, it could face a damning wave of lawsuits and bad publicity in the coming weeks as the records are set to be released.

The Oregon Supreme Court has ordered the public release of about 1 200 files dating from 1965 to 1985, including some reviewed by the newspaper.

Scouting officials told the Times that in many cases, they covered up the allegations to spare young victims from embarrassment. But some of the alleged molesters then went on to abuse other children, according to Scouts documents and court records cited by the Times.

Apology to victims


In one example cited by the newspaper, a Maryland troop leader who confirmed allegations of abuse against him was given six weeks to leave and told he could give his associates "whatever reason that he chose" to resign.

An official was quoted as saying in the troop leader's file that the move gave him the opportunity to leave in a "graceful manner", adding that the senior Scout was reminded that he had agreed to keep the matter secret.

In response to the article, the organisation issued an apology to the victims and stressed it had always co-operated with the authorities. Since 2010, the Scouts require officials to report even suspicion of abuse to local authorities.

"The Boy Scouts of America believes that one instance of abuse is far too many," spokesperson Deron Smith said.

"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."

The organisation, founded in 1910, is best-known for promoting outdoor activities and community service for boys aged seven to 21.

In July, it reaffirmed a ban on openly gay members and leaders after a secret review, despite calls to overturn it.

Read more on:    us  |  child abuse
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
11 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Africa: Land of Billionaires!

Find out who are the richest of the richest in Africa!

 
 

Men24.com

Best bro movies 2014
Every man should be able to do these three things
Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!
Hottie of the day: Jesselyn

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Hot festive offers at kalahari.com!

Hurry! Stocks are limited. Don’t miss out. Shop Now!

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may feel divided. Conflict between mind and emotions can create tension or indecision. This could lead to stressful feelings...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.