A California judge recently ordered the Boy Scouts of America to hand over confidential files detailing allegations of sexual abuse by Scout leaders as part of a lawsuit brought by the family of a boy molested by his troop leader.
According to a CBS/AP report, the documents sought are known as “ineligible volunteer files,” which are intended to keep those accused of sexual misconduct out of the Boy Scouts. Boy Scouts officials have fought the release of these files by arguing that it will violate victims' privacy rights and that many files are based on unproven allegations. Furthermore, the Boy Scouts are asserting that these files have not been used to conceal sexual abuse.
The victim's parents in this case were told not to call the police by an official because the Boy Scouts perform their own internal investigation of sexual abuse allegations. Based the widespread sexual abuse that has occurred in this organization throughout the country, these so-called “internal investigations” clearly are either completely ineffective or nonexistent.
As an experienced Chicago trial lawyer, I feel that the Boy Scouts of America resisted releasing the “ineligible volunteer files” because the contents of the files will expose the organization's extensive concealment of sexual abuse claims over the past decades. The Boy Scouts of America owed to each boy who participates in the organization a duty to protect them from pedophiles. Unfortunately, this organization has fallen woefully short of satisfying this duty.