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Boy Scout leaders on "Perversion List"
A list of 1,900 Boy Scout leaders accused of child sex abuse is released to the public. An attorney tells Fox 25's Kisha Henry, he and his legal partner released the files for the safety of all children, and so the public will demand better safety measures.
The list is called the "Perversion Files." The Boy Scouts of America compiled it from 1965 -- 1985. Originally, the classified list was made to keep track of "inelligible volunteers," but thanks to a court order, it's now public.
The accusations and charges range from molestation, to sodomy and rape of young boys. In 1987, a volunteer was accused of forcing a camper to fondle his genitals. Another case shows a leader was charged with forcible oral sodomy and forcible anal sodomy. 15 men on the list were accused of crimes against children right here in Oklahoma.
Jim Aikman has been a Boy Scout leader for more than 10 years. He says, "What happened 30 or 40 years ago is completely different. Today, the Boy Scouts is the gold standard for youth protection." As a parent of Scouts himself, he says parents should not be worried about the list. "Not at all. This is history, and today, we have a very safe program."
But, Daniel Fasy, one of the Seattle lawyers who released the list, disagrees. "I don't think I would be comfortable putting a child of mine in that organization," he says.
The files show some of the men on the list are leaders who were allowed to continue Scouts even after being caught abusing children on multiple occasions. The files note, leaders and volunteers had full access to the children, including being permitted to sleep with them in tents.
The Boy Scouts of America has apologized in a released statement, saying, "..in certain cases, our response to these incidents, and our efforts to protect youth were plainly insufficient, inappropriate, or wrong." The BSA goes on to note the incidents occurred "many decades ago."
But, Fasy, who represents clients with claims against the BSA, disagrees. "It is still occurring today. We represent at least one client that was abused not too long ago... maybe four years ago," he says. He also says the list should be much longer. "The majority of the clients that we represented-- their abuser was not on the list, so this is really just what has been recorded." The files also note, some of the youth who were sexually abused during Scouting, went on to become abusers themselves.
Aikman says times have changed, and safety measures are more strict. "To be a volunteer, you have to go through routine background checks, you have to provide routine references, you have to take training, and you have to comply with our Youth Protection Guidelines."
"Well, I do think that's helpful," Fasy responds. "I think it's a positive step, but I think there's more to be done."
But, Aikman says, there is more. "We not only educate and train the adults that are serving as volunteers, but we teach the youth what they should or should not expect."
In its statement, the BSA says, "..today, Scouting is a leader among youth-serving organizations in preventing child abuse."
We reached out to some of the men on the list, but were unable to make contact.
If you would like to see the list yourself, visit: http://www.kosnoff.com/BSA-perversion-by-name.pdf
Here is the BSA's full statement:
(IRVING, TX-October 17, 2012)-The Boy Scouts of America is responding today to the release by a Portland-based attorney of its ineligible volunteer files from 1965 to 1985. Established more than 80 years ago, the files are a key method used to keep Scouts safe. Essentially, the files are a list of people who do not meet the BSA's membership standards because of known or suspected abuse or other inappropriate conduct either inside or outside of Scouting.
Statement From Wayne Perry, National President, Boy Scouts of America:
"There have been instances where people misused their positions in Scouting to abuse children, and 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 and sincere apologies to victims and their families.
"While it is difficult to understand or explain individuals' actions from many decades ago, today Scouting is a leader among youth-serving organizations in preventing child abuse. The BSA requires background checks; administers comprehensive training programs for volunteers, staff, youth, and parents; and mandates reporting of even suspected abuse. We have continuously enhanced our multitiered policies and procedures to ensure we are in line with and, where possible, ahead of society's knowledge of abuse and best practices for prevention."
Posted: Friday, October 19 2012, 10:05 PM CDT
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
More severe storms in the offing for Oklahoma
May 19, 2013 18:39 GMT
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The Storm Prediction Center in Norman says there is a risk of strong tornadoes in a storm system developing in central Oklahoma.
Forecasters say storms are expected to form Sunday afternoon evening and that the advised area includes portions of Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.
The center says moist and unstable conditions are meeting upper-level winds that have the potential to spin off tornadoes. Forecasters say large hail and damaging winds in some areas are also possible.
Officials say residents should monitor reports for possible watches, warnings or weather statements later in the day.
State and local emergency managers are monitoring conditions.
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