(NaturalNews) The recent court-ordered release of 14,500 pages' worth of alleged abuse cases that took place within the organizational structure of the Boy Scouts of America between 1959 and 1985 is sending shock waves throughout the country, as they reveal some shocking facts about how such cases were improperly handled by local authorities. It turns out that local prosecutors, police chiefs, and even pastors protected alleged pedophiles from being being investigated and arraigned in order to protect the valued reputation of the Scouts organization.
The release of the files, which was the result of a recent Oregon Supreme Court ruling, reveals that potentially hundreds of scoutmasters and other Scouts leaders molested or otherwise violated young Scouts, but were never prosecuted for their alleged crimes. According to a review compiled by Dr. Janet Warren, a psychiatrist from the University of Virginia, some 1,600 victims are contained in the files, which were previously held confidentially by Boy Scouts headquarters in Dallas, Texas.
NBC 4i in Columbus, Ohio, reports that Boy Scouts headquarters has been storing all kinds of memos, handwritten letters, and newspaper clippings about alleged molesters and pedophiles from years past, many of which were ignored or sanitized of any connection to the Boy Scouts. Whether it was local law enforcement with connections to the Boy Scouts, or public and community leaders sympathetic to the Boy Scouts name, a whole lot of leniency was given to potential child abuse suspects when their alleged crimes were connected in any way to the Boy Scouts.
"It's kind of a deal. The deal is, our society will give you incredible status and respect, Norman Rockwell will paint pictures of you, and in exchange for that you take care of our kids," says Portland-based child abuse attorney Kelly Clark about the Boy Scouts of America saga. "That's the deal, incredible respect and privilege. But there was a worm in the apple."
According to Clark, who has been helping lead the ongoing charge against the Boy Scouts since a $20 million lawsuit against the group was successfully won back in 2010, the files are just the tip of the iceberg, as an unknown number of other "Perversion files" have been destroyed over the years. But one thing is for sure, he says -- the Boy Scouts organization has had a dismal track record of properly handling alleged abuse cases, and because of this, many potential pedophiles have run free, and even continued to work under the banner of the Boy Scouts.
Though the overall rate of recorded abuse cases within the Boy Scouts organization is "very low," according to Dr. Warren, the issue is still quite alarming, as it illustrates how a respected, family-based organization essentially became an enabler for child predators for many years. Since 2010; however, the Boy Scouts organization has revamped many of its policies, including enacting a mandatory reporting system for suspected child abuse.