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?