June 21, 2012 — The Supreme Court of Oregon is ordering the release of thousands of pages of documents related to the Boy Scout sexual abuse scandal from the mid-1960s through the 1980s. The documents are known as the “perversion files,” because they detail accusations and investigations of sexual abuse and misconduct by scout leaders. The files were central to a civil case in 2010 involving Timur Dykes, a scout leader accused of sexually abusing six young boys. In that case, a jury decided upon an $18.5 million judgement against the Boy Scouts of America.
The so-called “perversion files” were documents kept by the Boy Scouts to track misbehavior from scout leaders, to prevent bad leaders and abuse. Instead, the documents became evidence that the organization knew about abuse, but failed to protect young scouts.
Judge John A. Wittmayer ordered the files to be released to the public, but with the names of the victims and the accusers withdrawn. The Boy Scouts appealed this decision, saying that “even with the redactions indicated, [the files] may still negatively impact victims’ privacy and have a chilling effect on the reporting of abuse.” The organization was also concerned that two decades worth of confidential reports on bad behavior from scout leaders could still harm innocent victims. The Oregon Supreme Court rejected the Boy Scouts appeal, and the files will become public.
A lawyer for one of the victims said that the documents probably will not lead to more civil or criminal trials. Oregon and other states have a restrictive statute of limitations, which varies by state. Once the deadline passes, victims of abuse may no longer be able to file a lawsuit against their abuser.
The 2010 sex abuse case involved scout leader Timur Dykes, who allegedly sexually abused six former Boy Scouts. Dykes was convicted of sex crimes against children in 1993. He has since been released on parole, and is now listed in the sex offender registry as a homeless man on the streets of Portland.
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