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Secret Sex Abuse Files: Boy Scouts of America Could Have Stopped Molestation, Expert Says

Boy Scouts of America (AP, file)
PORTLAND, Ore. (CBS/AP) The Boy Scouts of America had the information, had the knowledge, and had the ability to make a difference about sexual abuse by Scout leaders, but instead, a psychologist testified Wednesday, the organization showed reckless indifference to protecting young boys when it kept secret two decades worth of confidential files on suspected child molesters. The testimony is part of a $14 million lawsuit against the organization.

Despite creating remarkably in-depth "perversion files" about sexual abusers, the BSA failed to warn parents or tell authorities about suspected or confessed pedophiles, said Gary Schoener, a national expert and consultant on sexual misconduct in the clergy, health care and other segments of society.

The lawsuit was brought by a 37-year-old Oregon man who was abused by an assistant Scoutmaster, Timur Dykes, in the early 1980s. Dykes was convicted three times between 1983 and 1994 of sexually abusing boys, most of them Scouts. He acknowledged abusing the plaintiff in a video deposition played for jurors last week.

The Boy Scouts began keeping secret files on suspected molesters among its adult volunteers decades ago.

The files were as detailed as listing the color of a certain volunteer's hair and eyes. They also noted that confessed abusers who completed probation with the Scouts often were allowed to return to Scout activities. The files didn't explain what the Scouts' probation entailed, Schoener said.

Schoener, who studied hundreds of the formerly confidential files, said the detailed documents showed patterns, including how molesters would groom potential victims, how most pedophiles had many victims and how most re-offended. He said it was the most complete picture of sexual abusers and victims in the country at the time.

The trial, which began March 17, will take a break and resume Monday. It is expected to last two more weeks.

March 25, 2010 - Secret Sex Abuse Files: Boy Scouts of America Could Have Stopped Molestation, Expert Says
March 24, 2010 - Boy Scout Molested By Scout Leader Timur Dykes Testifies, Says Dykes was "The Coolest"
March 22, 2010 - Boy Scouts Sex Abuse Coverup? Secret "Perversion Files" Make it to Court
March 19, 2010 - Are Secret Boy Scout "Perversion Files" Hiding Years of Sex Abuse?