As part of a national settlement in a multi-million dollar sex abuse case, the Boy Scouts of America this week made public thousands of case files it has kept on suspected molesters for decades.
Additional BSA file data revealed by the Los Angeles Times shows that four allegations of possible abuse were made against scout leaders in the Marietta area, ranging over a period of more than 30 years.
The so-called "perversion files" had been kept confidential for decades, until attorneys representing two abuse victims in Oregon demanded they be made public as part of a $18.5 million settlement in 2010.
The BSA fought the release until the Oregon Supreme Court ruled against it. The files released this week cover the years 1965-1985. None of those files contain the four Marietta cases.
An expanded list of around 5,000 case files, kept between 1947 and 2005 on around 1,000 individuals expelled from the Boy Scouts, has been compiled in a database by the Times.
In some cases, the names of individuals are stated. But most files, including the four Marietta individuals, are identified only by a number. The troops they were associated with, and the years the files were created, are listed as follows:
- 1959 -- ID #2160, Troop Number 419;
- 1987 -- ID #1501, Troop Number 287;
- 1990 -- ID #1576, Troop Number 713;
- 2000 -- ID #4793, Troop Number 277.
The Portland law firm that pushed for the release of the files uploaded on its website Thursday full case files between 1965 and 1985, complete with the names of the suspected abusers. The names of victims and accusers have been redacted.
A total of 97 Georgia scout leaders are included in the Times database, including 44 from the metro Atlanta area, and scout troops in Kennesaw, Smyrna, Woodstock, Stone Mountain, Lithonia, Conyers and Decatur.
The suspected abusers were not reported to law enforcement, but the BSA kept the files as a means to prevent them from volunteering. However, some leaders continued in their roles. The BSA said in an official release:
"There have been instances where people misused their positions in Scouting to abuse children, and in certain cases, our response to these incidents and our efforts to protect youth were plainly insufficient, inappropriate, or wrong. Where those involved in Scouting failed to protect, or worse, inflicted harm on children, we extend our deepest apologies to victims and their families."
Former Cobb District Attorney Tom Charron told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that prosecuting cases would prove to be difficult, largely because of the statute of limitations.