Posted to WIDK by Jenn Flanagan
(Daily Mail) – The Boy Scouts of America have been ordered to hand over confidential files detailing allegations of sexual abuse by the nation’s Scout leaders.
The move was made by a judge in Santa Barbara, California after a boy molested by his troop leader said executives tried to keep it from police.
In 2007, the 13-year-old was touched by Scout volunteer Al Steven Stein, 29, who had a history of inappropriate behavior with children.
When the boy told his mother about the abuse a few days later, she called the Scouts and spoke with executive David Tate, she told the LA Times.
She said Tate tried to talk her out of calling the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department and only agreed when she insisted.
The family sued the Scouts for negligence, claiming they should have known Stein had harmed the boy and tried to cover up the abuse.
The judge has now ordered that the Boy Scouts, which is based in Irving, Texas, to hand over the last 20 years’ worth of records by Friday.
The documents, which are known as ‘ineligible volunteer files’ are supposed to keep those accused of misconduct out of Scouting.
The suit claims the files will expose the ‘culture of hidden sexual abuse’ and its failure to warn families about the ‘pedophilic wolves’ who have long infiltrated the youth organization, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Officials deny the estimated 5,000 files have ever been used to conceal abuse. They initially told the judge they were irrelevant to the case.
‘These files exist solely to keep out individuals whose actions are inconsistent with the standards of Scouting, and Scouts are safer because of them,’ Deron Smith from the Boy Scouts of America told the LA Times.
The judge has ordered the lawyers not to disclose the files to the public.
The trial is scheduled for April, nearly five years after the boy, now 17 and reportedly afraid to leave his home, was molested.
In 2008, Stein was charged with committing a lewd act upon a child, and two child porn charges for pictures he took of a boy.
Two victims were in the Scouts, while another was the son of a family friend.
In 2009, he pleaded no contest and was put on probation. Authorities later found pictures of nude children on his cell phone and he was sent to prison.
Steven Balash, his attorney, told the LA Times Stein is ‘a sad case’ living on Social Security disability payments in a motel with other sex offenders.
The boy’s mother added of her son: ‘He’s not the person he was before.’
In 2010, the Scouts created a national policy requiring any suspicion of child abuse to be reported to authorities immediately.