(Reuters) - The Boy Scouts of America, acting on a court order, released on Thursday thousands of files that detail allegations and admissions of child sex abuse within the organization between 1965 and 1985.
A total of 1,247 men, ranging from college students to retirees and from all walks of life, are mentioned in the “ineligible volunteer” files. They include a school custodian, a staff engineer from IBM, a chemical engineering major at a local university, a salesman and a chemist.
Here are a handful of cases that appear in the files:
Minnesota: In 1982, Rochester Scout council executive Graham Howard learned that one of his troop leaders, a 47-year-old staff engineer for IBM, was under investigation by local police for allegedly molesting local Boy Scouts, according to the files. In a letter to the national office, Howard recounted how he had tried to contact the man to “seek his resignation” from the Boy Scouts, without success.
Howard wrote that he then called the national, regional and local Boy Scout council officials, other youth organizations the man was involved with, his staff, and finally an attorney - to notify them all of the investigation. The files said the attorney, Howard wrote, “suggested we not put on the confidential list until he had been sentenced because in the State of Minnesota this could allow for slander in case he was not convicted.”
Indiana: The parents of two Scouts in Indiana told troop leaders in 1982 that their sons had been molested by a veteran Scout leader during a sleepover at his home, according to the files. The man, a 32-year-old sales representative for an air filter company, had been placed on the Boy Scouts’ internal watch list in the early 1970s after admitting to molesting several Boy Scouts.
“At that time (1972-73) he took treatment and on the advice of the psychiatrist treating him and his minister, he was allegedly ‘cured,’” the official wrote, according to the files. Confronted with the new allegations by Scouting officials, the man initially denied abusing the two boys and suggested that his actions had been “misunderstood.”
Local Scouting officials threatened to turn him over to police, and the man admitted to the new allegations and resigned from Scouting. There is no indication in the files that police were ever contacted.
California: In 1985, a Sacramento, California troop learned that one of its leaders - a 44-year-old home alarm system installer - had been among a group of men arrested and charged with molesting local boys, including at least one Scout. The men were reportedly members of an organization that celebrates pedophilia called NAMBLA, or the North American Man/Boy Love Association, according to the files.
Colorado: In 1980, the father of three boys reported that his sons said they were molested by a 36-year-old Scout leader who worked as a custodian at a local high school. The father went to police and the man was arrested and charged with sexual molestation of the boys.
The father later ran into the man, who was out on bail, at a Scout leadership training session, according to the files.
Virginia: A Scout leader in the late 1970s was convicted of child molestation while serving in a San Diego troop. He was placed on probation, but later moved to a troop in Virginia, according to the files. A Virginia Scouting official learned of the California conviction after the man was accused of molesting Scouts in his troop. “It is absolutely unforgivable that did not report this problem to you,” Virginia Scout official Randall Weaver wrote to the national BSA office in 1984. “It has been a nightmare for us.”
Reporting By Chris Francescani; Editing by Paul Simao