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Boy Scouts Sex Abuse Coverup? Secret "Perversion Files" Make it to Court

(Credit: CBS Graphic) CBS
PORTLAND, Oregon (CBS/AP) The Boy Scouts of America call them "perversion files," internal documents used to track Scout leaders suspected of sexually abusing young boys - and now a jury will get a chance to look at them.

The judge who had ordered the Scouts to release the "perversion files" received 1,247 files into evidence near the end of the day Friday in a case that accuses the Boy Scouts of covering up abuse.

Attorneys Paul Mones and Kelly Clark won the release of files from 1965-85 to help them make their case in a $14 million lawsuit against the Boy Scouts. The suit was filed by a 37-year-old Oregon man, who was sexually molested in the early 1980s by assistant Scoutmaster Timur Dykes. Dykes was convicted three times between 1983 and 1994 of sexually abusing boys, most of them Scouts.

Although there have been dozens of lawsuits against the Boy Scouts over sex abuse allegations, judges for the most part have either denied requests for the files or the cases have been settled. The only other time the documents are believed to have been presented at a trial was in the 1980s in Virginia.

On Friday, Mones showed a jury a 1935 New York Times article that said the Scouts had 2,910 "cards" on men who were unfit to supervise young boys.

The display came as he questioned Nate Marshall, a Scouts executive from their headquarters in Irving, Texas, who is now in charge of those files. Marshall estimated about 30 percent of the men flagged in older files dated between 1920 and 1935 had sexually abused Scouts.

The files were among a total of 1,587 files divided into categories considered grounds for suspension or rejection as a Scout leader, Marshall said. Besides perversion, the categories listed were criminal, financial, theft, leadership, moral - including homosexuality - and religious reasons, including being an atheist or an agnostic.

But the bulk of the files were in the perversion category, which includes sexual misconduct besides molesting children, such as soliciting prostitutes or possessing child pornography.

March 19, 2010 - Are Secret Boy Scout "Perversion Files" Hiding Years of Sex Abuse?