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Order lets Boy Scouts keep new abuse files private

By Nomaan Merchant

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Nov. 30 2012 11:01 p.m. MST

In a Tuesday, Oct., 16, 2012 photo, Portland attorney Kelly Clark examines some of the 14,500 pages of previously confidential documents created by the Boy Scouts of America concerning child sexual abuse within the organization, in preparation for releasing the documents Thursday, Oct. 18, as he stands in his office in Portland, Ore.

Associated Press

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DALLAS — The Boy Scouts of America will not immediately have to turn over 27 years of so-called "perversion files" the group keeps on sexual abuse complaints against adults involved in the organization, a Texas appeal court has ruled.

A former scout who says he was sexually assaulted by a now-imprisoned former scoutmaster has filed suit in San Antonio against the national Boy Scouts and the local group in San Antonio. His attorneys want the Boy Scouts of America to turn over internal files on scout leaders dating from 1985 to last year.

State District Judge Martha Tanner ruled in August that the Scouts would have to release those files to the teenager's attorneys. The 4th Texas Court of Appeals on Thursday granted the Scouts' request to stay that portion of her order.

The public release in October of files dating from 1959 to 1985 revealed a cover-up of decades of sexual abuse, as Scout leadership sought to shield scoutmasters and other adult leaders from criminal charges. The national Scouts organization, based in the Dallas suburb of Irving, has said it now requires any suspicion of abuse to be reported to law enforcement.

Attorneys for the former scout are expected to file a response to the appeals court sometime next week.

Paul Mones, a Portland, Ore., attorney who is one of the lawyers representing the teen, said on Friday that he didn't know what the more recent files might contain.

"We do know, as does the rest of the United States, what's contained in 1959 to 1985," Mones said. "So over the last 27 years, obviously that's something that we believe … will be important."

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