Report: Boy Scout files reveal repeat child abuse
Associated Press – Sun, Aug 5, 2012
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Internal documents from the Boy Scouts of America reveal more than 125 cases in which men suspected of molestation allegedly continued to abuse Scouts, despite a blacklist meant to protect boys from sexual predators.
A Los Angeles Times review....of more than 1,200 files from 1970 to 1991 found suspected abusers regularly remained in the organization after officials were first presented with sexual misconduct allegations.
Predators moved from troop to troop because of clerical errors, computer glitches or the Scouts' failure to check the blacklist, known as the "perversion files," the newspaper said.
In at least 50 cases, the Scouts expelled suspected abusers, only to discover they had re-entered the organization and were accused of molesting again.
In other cases, officials failed to document reports of abuse in the first place, letting offenders stay in the program until new allegations came to light, the Times reported.
One scoutmaster was expelled in 1970 for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy in Indiana. After being convicted of the crime, he went on to join two troops in Illinois between 1971 and 1988. He later admitted to molesting more than 100 boys, was convicted of the sexual assault of a Scout in 1989 and was sentenced to 100 years in prison, according to his file and court records.
In 1991, a Scout leader convicted of abusing a boy in Minnesota returned to his old troop shortly after getting out of jail.
Boy Scout files reveal repeat child abuse by sexual predators
Los Angeles Times review of Boy Scout documents shows that a blacklist meant to protect boys from sexual predators too often failed in its mission.
By Jason Felch and Kim Christensen, Los Angeles Times
August 5, 2012
For nearly a century, the Boy Scouts of America has relied on a confidential blacklist known as the "perversion files" as a crucial line of defense against sexual predators.
Scouting officials say they've used the files to prevent hundreds of men who had been expelled for alleged sexual abuse from returning to the ranks. They've fought hard in court to keep the records from public view, saying confidentiality was needed to protect victims, witnesses and anyone falsely accused....
A Los Angeles Times review of more than 1,200 files dating from 1970 to 1991 found more than 125 cases across the country in which men allegedly continued to molest Scouts after the organization was first presented with detailed allegations of abusive behavior.
Predators slipped back into the program by falsifying personal information or skirting the registration process. Others were able to jump from troop to troop around the country thanks to clerical errors, computer glitches or the Scouts' failure to check the blacklist.
In some cases, officials failed to document reports of abuse in the first place, letting offenders stay in the organization until new allegations surfaced. In others, officials documented abuse but merely suspended the accused leader or allowed him to continue working with boys while on "probation."
In at least 50 cases, the Boy Scouts expelled suspected abusers, only to discover later that they had reentered the program and were accused of molesting again.
One scoutmaster was expelled in 1970 for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy in Indiana. Even after being convicted of the crime, he went on to join two troops in Illinois between 1971 and 1988. He later admitted to molesting more than 100 boys, was convicted of the sexual assault of a Scout in 1989 and was sentenced to 100 years in prison, according to his file and court records.
In 1991, a Scout leader convicted of abusing a boy in Minnesota returned to his old troop — right after getting out of jail....
Richard Stenger, the head of a unit of the Sea Scouts — part of the Boy Scouts — was charged in 1971 with tying up and fondling three boys. Police found bondage equipment and books on pedophilia in his house.
He was convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and a judge sentenced him to four years' probation, his file shows. The Scouts decided to suspend him during that period. But when the court-ordered probation ended, a local Scout executive and several parents successfully requested that the national office lift the suspension.
"I feel quite confident that no further problems will arise," wrote the local Scout executive, whose name is blacked out in the heavily redacted file.
Fourteen years later, in 1989, a parent notified the Boy Scouts that the 320-pound Stenger had padlocked her 11-year-old Scout in a harness and watched him dangle for 15 minutes during a boating trip, according to Stenger's file. Scouts notified police, who recovered from Stenger's home dozens of restraints and hundreds of images of children in bondage, including one of a blindfolded 6-year-old tied to a bed.
Two dozen former and current Scouts came forward to say they had been abused by Stenger as long ago as 1958.