Some media outlets are calling them the ‘perversion files,’ though they are, in reality, the paper trail of sexual abuse allegations within the organization known as the Boy Scouts of America. After a 20-year-old man brought a lawsuit against the organization as a whole, claiming that he endured sexual abuse while a member of the Boy Scouts, records that have not yet been released may soon be made available to the court. Files covering the time span of 1960-1991 have already been released and are now available to the public.
This case seeks to make records from 1991-2007 public also. The earlier set of files seems to represent a failure on the part of the BSA to treat cases of molestation seriously. However, some say that the release of the later files will show that the organization has changed its reporting methods and handling practices for the better.
The particular case in question involves the records of a then 29-year-old man (name withheld to protect the anonymity of the accused) who, it is claimed, inappropriately touched a then 13-year-old boy after partially removing his pants during a BSA Christmas tree sale. The volunteer was banned from the BSA as soon as the allegations were brought up and a civil suit was brought against him.
Child molestation cases are taken seriously in the state of California (CA Penal Code 288). Depending on the specific circumstances of the case, being convicted of child molestation could end in up to 16 years in state prison. However, it is also important to remember that the criminal case may only be the beginning of your troubles. Oftentimes, civil suits follow, making your private life and the inner workings of organizations like the Boy Scouts of America public knowledge.