The Boy Scouts of America have finally decided to begin something that many of their critics have argued they should have started years and years ago. The BSA will bring the names of child abusers who have been named in the “perversion files” of the organization to the attention of law enforcement across the U.S.
Until now, the Scouts argued they have done all they were able to, to prevent sex abuse in their organization by spending over 100 years tracking abusers and using their records to keep sex offenders that are known, out of the organization.
However, a release of the so called “perversion files” by court order for the years 1965 through 1985, which is expected in October, prompted a spokesman for the Scouts to say the BSA would go back to the files and report the offenders who might have fallen through the proverbial cracks.
The review will be lead by Mike Johnson who is the youth protection director in the organization and a former detective in the police department. This might prompt yet more criminal prosecution for sex offenders who have been able to date to escape justice, said a District Attorney from Oregon. However, law enforcement might need more than what the files from the Scouts give, including victims who are willing to cooperate and testify.
A number of states do not have statutes of limitations for children who were less than 16 at the time they were victimized. Therefore, even crimes that are decades old, could be prosecuted.
The files were first kept by the Scouts shortly after the organization was established in 1910. At that time, pedophilia was largely handled privately and out of the public eye.