In October, a law firm in Portland, Ore., released files on more than 1,200 scoutmasters and volunteers who were accused of pedophilia or sexual abuse that the Boy Scouts of America had kept hidden. These so-called perversion files spanned 20 years — from the mid-1960s to the mid-’80s — and are thought to be just a small portion of a vast record of sexual-misconduct allegations involving as many as 100,000 children. The files were kept secret under a protective order until the Oregon Supreme Court ordered their public release following a sex-abuse lawsuit brought by six former Boy Scouts. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times found that the organization had failed to report allegations of sexual misconduct to the authorities. Dozens of the accused were even able to slip back into the organization in other states, according to the Times, perhaps leading to more instances of abuse. Boy Scouts president Wayne Perry admitted in October that in some cases, the organization’s response to the incidents was “insufficient, inappropriate or wrong.” As more victims step forward, the Boy Scouts of America could be expected to pay significant damages to those who have been affected.
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