'Perversion Files' Didn't Block Boy Scout Abusers

Child molesters re-entered organization more than 125 times
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2012 2:30 PM CDT
'Perversion Files' Didn't Block Boy Scout Abusers
In this Tuesday, April 13, 2010 file photo, Kerry Lewis, left, leans into his lawyer Paul Mones after the verdict against the Boy Scouts of America was announced in Portland, Ore.   (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Jamie Francis)

The Boy Scouts of America has long relied on a secret blacklist to keep perverts at bay, but that system hasn't worked too well, the LA Times reports. The paper's review of more than 1,200 files from the 1970s and '80s showed that men suspected of molesting boys were able to re-enter the organization more than 125 times. Computer errors, clerical mistakes, and a simple failure to check the blacklist were often to blame. At times, offenders weren't put on the blacklist at all.

"Basically, there were no controls," says a retired LA police expert who testified for an Oregon man who won nearly $20 million in a Scouts abuse case. But the Scouts say their so-called "perversion files" have kept hundreds of abusers from returning to the ranks. "Even a single instance of abuse is unacceptable, and we regret there have been times when ... efforts to protect children were insufficient," the Scouts said in a statement. The Boy Scouts continue to ban gays, and now face a court order to release 20,000 pages of perversion files. (More Boy Scouts of America stories.)

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