Confidential files that document decades of sexual abuse kept by the Boy Scouts of America are expected to be released Thursday.
(RNN) – The controversial documents known as the "perversion files" by the Boy Scouts of America were released Thursday for public inspection by a Portland attorney. The files have been uploaded to the Oregon law firms website.
The online files will allow for a search by city, state, troop number or name of suspected abuser.
The files contain reports of suspected sexual abuse by scout leaders from 1965 to 1985 across the country.
The documents contain more than 20,000 pages and identify more than 1,200 leaders and volunteers banned from the Boy Scouts for suspected abuse.
Many states have no statutes of limitations for crimes committed against children when they were younger than 16, so the release of the files could very well lead to a wave of criminal and civil cases, according to the Associated Press.
The Boy Scouts were ordered to hand over the files during a 2010 trial that ended with an $18.5 million damage award for the victim of abuse by a scout leader.
The organization appealed that ruling all the way to the Oregon Supreme Court, where it lost.
According to CNN, for decades, the Boy Scouts kept the files' contents secret, arguing confidentiality was needed to protect victims' privacy and encourage the reporting of suspected abuse.
But in many cases, the organization failed to report abuse to proper law enforcement.
"We're talking about hundreds, if not thousands of unidentified men who should be registered sex offenders who are roaming free in society, free to volunteer with other youth organizations, to work at schools and that sort of thing," lawyer of an abused scout, Tim Hale, told CNN.
The Boy Scouts of America have apologized and said new reports of abuse are no longer hidden by the organization but handed over to police.
"There have been instances where people misused their positions in Scouting to abuse children, and in certain cases, our response to these incidents and our efforts to protect youth were plainly insufficient, inappropriate, or wrong. Where those involved in Scouting failed to protect, or worse, inflicted harm on children, we extend our deepest and sincere apologies to victims and their families," Wayne Perry, BSA President said in a news release.
The Boy Scouts also released a video statement apologizing for the sexual abuse, and detailing recent policy changes.
"These policies include insuring at least two adults are present at all activities, preventing one-on-one contact between an adult and a youth member, requiring every scouting activity be opened to observation by parents, and mandating that suspicions of abuse be reported to the proper local authorities and to scouting leadership," Bob Mazucca, Former BSA Chief Scout Executive said.
The documents will not show the names of victims or of witnesses, but will include the names of some of the suspected abusers.
Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.
Thursday, October 18 2012 2:47 PM EDT2012-10-18 18:47:28 GMT
The Los Angeles Times has complied a database on thousands of men and women removed from the Boy Scouts of America using 1,900 files which were evidence in a 1992 California lawsuit.The files range fromMore >>
The Los Angeles Times has complied a database on thousands of men and women removed from the Boy Scouts of America using 1,900 files which were evidence in a 1992 California lawsuit.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 8:11 PM EDT2013-06-19 00:11:57 GMT
(RNN) – Rapper Lil' Wayne is attempting to stomp his way out of controversy after a clip of him walking on the American flag went viral over the weekend. A behind-the-scenes clip of the music video GodMore >>
Rapper Lil' Wayne is getting attention for a viral video some are calling unpatriotic.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 9:59 PM EDT2013-06-18 01:59:19 GMT
LYNCHBURG, VA (RNN) – Kimberly Burke is used to capturing emotion. As a wedding photographer, she has an eye for tender moments, like the photo she snapped of a Marine and his bride praying that has goneMore >>
A quiet moment captured before a couple wed has brought collective "awws" by millions on the internet.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 4:00 PM EDT2013-06-17 20:00:50 GMT
(RNN) – Edward Snowden gave a clear warning to the U.S. government Monday: Neither his incarceration or death would prevent the release of information he gathered on "unconstitutional acts." "Truth isMore >>
Edward Snowden, the source of NSA leaks on PRISM and other American surveillance programs, gave answers for nearly two hours in a live online chat with The Guardian Monday.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 8:26 AM EDT2013-06-17 12:26:23 GMT
(RNN) - Good news for the fans of eHarmony, Match.com and Christian mingle.com A new study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) says marriages thatMore >>
A study says marriages that began online are more successful than marriages that began traditionally. More >>
Saturday, June 15 2013 8:03 AM EDT2013-06-15 12:03:07 GMT
(RNN) - If you have formed no hardcore beliefs in life you can at least believe this - people will find a way to complain about anything. I mean, what's the big deal with the NSA snooping on folks? IfMore >>
If a man in a horse mask playing drums on the street isn't the highlight of your day, what's wrong with you?More >>
Friday, June 14 2013 9:13 AM EDT2013-06-14 13:13:19 GMT
(RNN) - A chemical plant caught fire in Baton Rouge, LA, on Thursday. At least one person has died and more than 70 were injured in the explosion. George Zimmerman was in court for the selection of theMore >>
The trial of George Zimmerman, the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government and the U.S. government's hunt for the NSA whistle-blower are a few of the stories that caught our eye this week.More >>