2012-10-24 / Local & State

Documents Reveal Details Of Scout Abuse Cases

PITTSBURGH (AP) – New documents from a lawsuit over Boy Scout leaders who were suspected of sexually abusing children include at least 76 accused people from Pennsylvania.

The suspected abuse in the documents released Thursday took place from 1959 to the 1980s.

The Boy Scouts have issued an apology, saying that “in certain cases, our response to these incidents and our efforts to protect youth were plainly insufficient, inappropriate, or wrong. Where those involved in Scouting failed to protect, or worse, inflicted harm on children, we extend our deepest apologies to victims and their families.”

The organization said that of the 1,247 files released Thursday, police were involved in nearly two-thirds of the cases.

But a review of the documents by Pennsylvania newspapers and by The Associated Press found that many community members, including judges, pastors and journalists, helped keep the abuse allegations quiet over the decades.

For example, Pittsburgh leaders were concerned in 1970 when a mother accused a Scoutmaster of molesting her son on a campout. Officials sought advice from an unnamed local judge about how to keep the matter out of the courts and appeared more concerned about the story being leaked than the fate of the boy.

Thursday’s release of files was the second this month. The first included a handful of cases from the Harrisburg region, the Patriot-News reported. Two involved Mechanicsburg leaders and described instances where they were believed to have provided alcohol to Scouts before making sexual advances during the 1980s. Another involved a female leader in Annville who had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old camp staff member.

In August 1962, a married 25-year- old Pa. steel mill worker pleaded guilty to “serious morals” violations involving Scouts. The Scouting executive who served as both mayor and police chief made sure of one thing: The Scouting name was never brought up.

The AP found in numerous cases that abuse suspects were kicked out of Scouting but showed up in jobs where they were once again in authority positions dealing with children.

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