Last Modified: Saturday, October 20, 2012 2:42 PM
Among the hundreds of secret Boy Scouts of America files released Thursday, five originated in Southwest Louisiana.
The Boy Scout Ineligible Volunteer Files, also called “the perversion files,” contain more than 14,500 pages on Boy Scout leaders who were removed because of abuse or alleged abuse.
The files were made available on the website of Portland, Ore., attorney Kelly Clark, who in 2010 won a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts on behalf of a plaintiff who was molested by an assistant scoutmaster in the 1980s.
The Oregon Supreme Court ruled the files should be made public in 2010 and after months of objections and redactions, the Scouts and Clark released them.
The Associated Press said it “conducted an extensive review” of the documents and found “the files contain details about proven molesters, but also unsubstantiated allegations.”
The Boy Scouts have come under fire recently because more than a third of the cases weren’t reported to authorities, and when they were sometimes no action was taken.
The AP highlighted the story of three brothers in northeast Louisiana, one of whom was allegedly raped and the other two allegedly molested by a 31-year-old assistant scoutmaster.
The scoutmaster confessed, but authorities decided not to prosecute “to save the name of Scouting,” according to a confidential letter from a Louisiana Scouts executive.
The Boy Scouts have taken preventative steps in the past 15 years, said Kevin McMurrian, Calcasieu Area Council Boy Scout executive.
“Nothing is more important than the safety of our Scouts,” he said. “We feel awful what has happened to the victims, and we want to extend our deepest and sincere apologies to the victims and their families.”
McMurrian said scoutmasters now go through youth protection training and have a set protocol for any incidents. He said inappropriate behavior is to be reported to him and that he will then take the information to authorities.
He said there is also in place a “two-deep” policy at all scouting events, in which there must be “two adults in plain view at all times with one or more Scouts.”
The most recent of the local files date to 1983, when two men were expelled from the Boy Scouts, according to the files.
One of the men, at the time a 50-year-old scoutmaster with the Calcasieu chapter, asked a 15-year-old Scout to show him his genitals, then proceeded to talk to him sexually in an attempt to arouse him, the documents said.
Another man, 39 in 1983, had been an exhibitionist while attending Boy Scout camp as a youth, according to his file. As an adult counselor, he regularly threw drinking parties in his cabin for young staff members.
The file also documents a witness account of the man and another male having sex in the camp cook shack, although it gave no indication of the other male’s age.
The file states that another person — no age is given — admitted to having a homosexual relationship with the man.
The man had been under investigation for having a relationship with a Scout while a scoutmaster in Jennings in the late 1960s and was ousted from the group after taking a boy to a local motel, according to his file.
Although the man has been ousted by the Boy Scouts, he has organized a Scout reunion within the past two years.
McMurrian said the man is not registered with the group, nor does he serve in any capacity.
McMurrian also said the Calcasieu Area Council did not endorse the reunion and that it was done on an individual basis.
“Anytime a unit leader takes it upon himself to call a scouting reunion, questions should arise,” McMurrian said. “The official standpoint is, it was not endorsed by our council, and it really should have never been called a scouting event in the first place without our endorsement.”
In another of the files, which dates to the 1960s, a 31-year-old scoutmaster with the Calcasieu chapter was removed from the Scouts because he was “accused of and admits to fondling.”
The documents claimed that the parents did not choose to press charges for fear of embarrassing the boy, but that the Calcasieu Area Council would press charges if the man were caught around Scouts again.
Of the five, two of the files documented an expulsion of a Scout and a rejection of an application because of convictions that happened outside of Scouts.
One of the men was convicted at age 19 of a crime against nature and was sentenced to six months in jail, according to the American Press archives. The Boy Scouts document further described his charges as two counts of “un-natural copulation with juveniles.”
The man was serving as assistant scoutmaster in Lake Charles while attending McNeese State University in the 1960s, but the documents suggest the crimes did not take place within the framework of Boy Scouts.
Another man had been a Boy Scout as a youth and was a merit badge counselor as a young adult in the 1960s, when he was kicked out of the Calcasieu chapter after being convicted of crimes against nature.
“We are happy to say that, as far as we can determine, that he was not involved with any Scouts,” Boy Scout correspondence reads.
American Press archives show the man was convicted of aggravated crimes against nature in relation to two separate occasions involving 14- and 15-year-old boys. The Boy Scouts document referred to the crime as “forced perversion with firearms.”
• The Associated Press contributed to this report.