“The major reason the Boy Scouts are filing bankruptcy now is the reckoning they are facing from thousands of child sexual abuse victims who are coming forward in civil lawsuits across the country,” said Peter Janci of Crew Janci LLP, who currently represents hundreds of victims abused as Boy Scouts. “The Boy Scouts have a long history of child sexual abuse occurring within its ranks, and the evidence shows that the Boy Scouts historically protected its reputation and pedophile scoutmasters over the children participating in its programs.”
The Boy Scouts of America began keeping secret files on pedophiles (called the “Perversion Files” or “Ineligible Volunteer Files”) soon after the organization formed in 1910. By January of 1935, BSA had accumulated approximately 1,000 pedophile files. Those secret files were maintained under lock and key at the Boy Scouts of America headquarters. Over the following decades, more than ten thousand similar files were created by the Boy Scouts. However, Boy Scout officials have admitted in sworn testimony that the organization destroyed thousands of its files over the years.
In many instances, according to testimony from Boy Scouts executives, the Boy Scouts of America did not report the allegations of child sexual abuse to law enforcement. Some scout leaders reported to the Boy Scouts for child sexual abuse were still allowed by the organization to continue as Scout Leaders under a secret internal BSA policy called “probation.” Parents and scouts were never notified of the existence of the probation program.
In 2012, the Los Angeles Times and attorneys from Crew Janci LLP published online databases that together make available approximately 5,000 of the Perversion Files that were publicly released through child sexual abuse lawsuits against the BSA.
“To this day, the Boy Scouts do not inform the public when they learn that a scout leader is accused of abusing children,” said victims attorney Stephen Crew. “Parents who enroll their children into a Scouting program may be putting their children in a dangerous situation without realizing it. This is information that should be out in the open, but the Boy Scouts refuse to be transparent and help parents protect their children.”