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Names of alleged sex abusers expelled from Boy Scouts released

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012 9:17 a.m. CDT

LOS ANGELES (MCT) — A Seattle attorney on Monday released the names of nearly 1,900 men who were expelled from the Boy Scouts of America for alleged sexual abuse between 1970 and 1991.

The spreadsheets compiled and released by Timothy Kosnoff, a plaintiff’s attorney who has sued the Boy Scouts on behalf of more than 100 alleged victims, identifies many men who have never been reported to police or faced criminal charges.

In addition, Kosnoff released brief summaries of 3,200 other cases of suspected sexual abuse dating to 1948, without naming the alleged perpetrators.

“It’s an opportunity for the public to evaluate the information the Boy Scouts has had and decide for themselves,” Kosnoff said.

Kosnoff did not release the underlying Boy Scout files that his spreadsheet was based upon because they had not been redacted of victims’ names. His action comes days before some 1,200 redacted files are expected to be released by another set of attorneys in Portland as a result of an order by the Oregon Supreme Court. Those files span 1965 to 1985, significantly overlapping with Kosnoff’s.

Together, the releases will give the public the widest window yet into confidential records that the Scouts have used for a century to keep suspected molesters out of the organization. They are known inside Scouting as the “perversion files.”

In 2011, Kosnoff gave the Los Angeles Times copies of his nearly 1,900 files spanning 1970 to 1991. The newspaper analyzed them and in August began publishing a series of stories on what they reveal.

The review found the Boy Scouts’ blacklist was often ineffective at keeping known or suspected predators out of Scouting. In more than 125 cases across the country, men allegedly continued to molest Scouts after the organization was first presented with detailed allegations of their behavior.

In September, the Times reported that Scouting officials had failed to report hundreds of alleged molestations to law enforcement. In more than 100 cases, officials sought to conceal the alleged abuse or allowed the suspects to hide it.

The public release of the files is expected to set off a wave of additional media reports on cases across the country that had long been secret.

The names released Monday have been in limited circulation for years. They were first obtained by Sacramento attorney Michael Rothschild in 1992, who submitted the files as evidence in a lawsuit. Rothschild said the judge in that case did not seal the files.

Patrick Boyle, a former reporter for the Washington Times, obtained the files from Rothschild and used them as the basis for his 1994 book, “Scouts Honor: Sexual Abuse in America’s Most Trusted Institution.”

“This is the biggest and maybe the only set of records we have on child abuse in American youth organizations,” Boyle said Monday. “It gives us incredible insights into how people who are sexually attracted to young people use youth organizations to get access to them.”

Boyle later made copies of the files for several attorneys, including Kosnoff.

Kosnoff obtained access to the 3,200 files dating from 1948 in a 2005 lawsuit against the Scouts, which produced the documents under a protective order.

Before returning those files to the Scouts, Kosnoff had his staff create an index of basic facts about each case. The names of the alleged abusers had been redacted by the Scouts.

In a statement released Monday, Deron Smith, a spokesman for the Scouts, acknowledged that the organization had at times failed to protect the children in its care.

“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,” Smith said. “Today Scouting is a leader among youth-serving organizations in preventing child abuse.”

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