The recently released Boy Scout "Perversion Files," files that detail cases nationwide of sexual abuse by scout leaders, include 205 cases in Missouri, involving 56 troops in the St. Louis area. So far, Patch has been unable to find any cases from Jefferson County.
The files detail hundreds of cases of alleged sexual abuse perpetrated by Boy Scout leaders as well as efforts by Boy Scout officials, law enforcement and community leaders to shield those leaders from consequences.
The Oregon Supreme Court in June ordered the files, which the Boy Scouts organization apparently collected over several decades, to be released at the request of media organizations following a $20-million judgment in a 2010 lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America.
Some of the cases involve unreported allegations of sexual abuse against children in Boy Scout troops. The Missouri records date back as far as 1963, with the most recent record created in 2004.
The Los Angeles Times incorporated the files into a searchable database, although not all documents are yet available online. The documents include names of those accused of abuse and the names of the children who were abused.
An official from the St. Louis County prosecuting attorney's office said the office plans to review the files for any cases in its jurisdiction that were not prosecuted.
However, the official said research will need to be done to determine what laws were in place when the abuse occurred, if the victims still wish to prosecute, whether the time limit to prosecute the cases has expired, and even if the abusers are still alive.
In some cases in which crimes were not reported to law enforcement, the Boy Scouts simply banned a person from participating in scouting. However, even that ban often was not effective.
In a 1970 St. Louis case, documents show that a scouting official investigated and confirmed a reported molestation and sexual abuse by a St. Louis city man, but he did not report the abuse to authorities.
A scoutmaster who reported incidents to the Boy Scouts of America told the organization’s officials that he “requested that he sever all connections with the scouting movement or other youth activities. I also suggested he obtain professional guidance.”
However, he also reported that he later ran into the man at a scouting skills show in October 1971, and learned he was involved in another Boy Scout troop and saw his name on a Merit Badge Counselor’s list.
In another instance in South St. Louis, scouts reported sexual contact and abuse by another man in 1970. However, the troop committee chairman told the scouts that nothing could be done about it.
The older scouts devised a buddy system in which no scout would go into the woods alone with the man.
Patch will look for and review those files when they are available.