Boy Scouts Kept Molestation Records Confidential


He’s admitted to molesting boys, while working for the Scouts
Though the records aren’t available to search;
If the case had been made public, there are few if any doubts
It’d be difficult to face the folks at church.

The L.A.Times has a substantial story, well worth reading, on the paper’s review of two decades worth of confidential Boy Scouts files–the “perversion files” intended to internally police molestation cases.

Of 1,600 reports, over 2/3 were discovered not by the Scouts, but by police or other authorities. However, some 500 cases were first discovered by the Scouts.

In about 400 of those cases — 80% — there is no record of Scouting officials reporting the allegations to police. In more than 100 of the cases, officials actively sought to conceal the alleged abuse or allowed the suspects to hide it, The Times found.

The story reports case after case in which the primary concern of the BSA appears to have been their reputation. Like some other ostensible moral authorities we know, quietly doing the least possible was preferred to publicly doing the right thing.

As I say, the whole thing is worth reading, if you’ve got the stomach. Today’s verse comes from the last story, in which the coverup of a man’s actions allowed him to continue to work with kids for another 14 years. It has now been 25 years since his particular coverup began; he was interviewed for the story:

“The topic has not come up until your phone call today,” he said. “Had that been publicized, I would have been out of business, reputation destroyed, and I don’t know how I would have faced people at church.”

Comments

  1. grumpyoldfart says

    So will there be a big court case with all of the offenders being charged with rape or cover-up? I’m guessing not.

  2. Nepenthe says

    @grumpyoldfart

    Sadly, it appears that many states have statutes of limitations even on sexually assaulting, often depending on the specifics of the acts and the age of the victim. For example, the Pennsylvania scoutmaster who raped at least two scouts is now protected by Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations, which is a maximum of 30 years. (Standard disclaimer: IANAL.)

    Rape and sexual assault law in this country is so fucked up.

    *wanders off to be nauseated*

  3. left0ver1under says

    Nepenthe says:

    Sadly, it appears that many states have statutes of limitations even on sexually assaulting, often depending on the specifics of the acts and the age of the victim. For example, the Pennsylvania scoutmaster who raped at least two scouts is now protected by Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations, which is a maximum of 30 years.

    I also do not understand why murder has no statute of limitations while rape does (whether the victim is an adult or a child).

    To society, both rapists and murderers are awful. But the dead don’t suffer anymore. The living victims of rape face the effects daily, which is far worse for them.

  4. Nepenthe says

    I also do not understand why murder has no statute of limitations while rape does (whether the victim is an adult or a child)

    Agreed, but it’s also important to remember that it varies widely between the states. There are some states that have no statute of limitations whatever on sexual crimes. There are some states that have very short statues on any sexual crime (New York sticks in my mind for various reasons; the SOL on even first degree sexual assault is 5 years). Many states have grades of SOL, often with none for first degree sexual assault and/or minor victims, or count the SOL for minor victims from the time they reach majority. There also can be variations if there’s DNA evidence.

    It’s a hodgepodge and it’s weird. You can’t predict based on conservative/liberal either, which I found surprising.

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