Posted: Mon, September 17 2012 at 6:39 PM, Updated: Mon, September 17 2012 at 6:53 PM
The Boy Scouts of America is under fire after the Los Angeles Times says it's investigation into confidential reports of alleged child abusers in the B.S.A - - shows a pattern of secrecy.
This, just weeks before documents related to an Oregon Boy Scout abuse case will be released to the public.
A 2010 Oregon trial found the Boy Scouts of America liable in a 1980's pedophile case.
One of the key pieces of evidence, twelve hundred documents known as the 'Ineligible Volunteer' files.
They're records which the organizations says it keeps, in part, to track and blacklist suspected abusers.
Randy Ellison was a victim of child sexual abuse and took to court his experience of abuse at the hands of his minister.
His attorney, Kelly Clark, the same person who served the plaintiff in the 2010 Oregon pedophile case against the Boys Scouts of America.
"Secrecy is what keeps abuse alive."
Today, the L.A. Times says it's combed through sixteen hundred confidential cases some of which, they say, show the organization failed to report alleged sexual abuse to authorities.
"In 80 percent of these cases we found that the authorities had not been contacted," says L.A. Times reporter Jason Felch.
Within weeks, 1200 ineligible volunteer files will be released online to the public.
"The Oregon Supreme Court says that certain information could be released."
In an statement made by the B.S.A. those files are "maintained to keep out individuals whose actions are inconsistent with the standards of scouting and scouts are safer because those files exist."
In fact, the files are used during the application process. After a background check the Ineligible Volunteers files are cross referenced to keep out unwanted volunteers - a policy adopted after the 2010 judge awarded the Oregon plaintiff 20 million dollars in the Boy Scout sexual abuse case....
The concern, however, revolves around alleged secrecy - because the files are kept confidential by the B.S.A.
"Keeping the secret is not an option. We need to get this out," says Ellison. He feels the Boy Scouts need to be more public about suspected abusers, because perpetrators are drawn to it. "If a person is sexually attracted to children, they are going to go somewhere where there are children."
The Boy Scouts of America said in a statement on Sunday that "While it regrets past incidents where scouts were sexually abused, its current policies require even suspicions of abuse to be reported directly to law enforcement."
The organization is facing more than 50 pending child sexual abuse cases in 18 states, according to Kelly Clark, one of the plaintiff's attorneys in the Oregon Case.