BSA “perversion files” strike close to home

The only Downers Grove case among the so-called “perversion files” released last week by the Boy Scouts of America occurred 35 years ago, according to a database compiled by the Los Angeles Times.

The case is one of about 5,000 confidential files the Boy Scouts organization kept on suspected sexual abuse between 1947 and 2005, and one of 1,200 released last week by order of the Oregon Supreme Court, according to the Times. Today’s Downers Grove Patch also has a story about some of the 300 cases involving Illinois Boy Scout troops.

Wayne Perry, national president of the Boy Scouts of America, addressed the files in a statement on the organization’s website.

The Downers Grove case concerns a 1967 camping trip in which a scoutmaster, described in the file as a “smooth talker,” asked a scout to remove his clothing as part of an “initial rite,” then allegedly fondled the boy. When the boy threatened to tell his parents, the scoutmaster hit him and warned him he would “get more such treatment” if he spoke to anyone, according to the file.

The scoutmaster later “admitted to the situation,” according to the file, but apparently wasn’t charge in the incident. He said at the time he was considering leaving town due to a job change.




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