In October of 2013, the Boy Scouts of America released 'ineligible
volunteer' aka 'perversion' files - documenting sexual misconduct
going back to 1947.
Now Connecticut Attorney Brooke Goff has filed suit against the national
organization on behalf of 17 former scouts and 2 girls arising out of
the conduct of a single former scout leader in Connecticut. The victims
assert that over a span of decades that perpetrator used his position
with the organization to commit repeated acts of abuse against children,
abusing children hundreds and indeed thousands of times.
Having been involved in such cases for three decades now, the pattern is
very clear: Institutions that provide ready access to children (be it
a church, a school, a group home or a civic organization such as the scouts)
have to be mindful that they are powerful sources of opportunity and cover
for those looking to prey upon the very children the organization seeks
to serve. Given that knowledge, secrecy regarding such abuse serves only
to protect and indeed foster continued abuse.
So why did the Scouts wait until 2013 to begin to release information regarding
the breadth of their problems with child sexual abuse?