US Boy Scouts covered up sex abuse to save face
(AFP) - The Boy Scouts of America failed to report hundreds of alleged child molesters over two decades and often left parents in the dark as a means to save face, the Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday.
After reviewing 1,600 confidential files dated 1970 to 1991 from the century-old organisation, the Times found more than 500 instances in which the Scouts learned of abuse directly from boys, parents, staff or anonymous tips, rather than after the incidents were reported to the authorities.
And in about 80 per cent of those cases, there was no record of the Scouts reporting the abuse claims to authorities. The Times also found that officials actively sought to hide the allegations or allowed the suspects to conceal the abuse claims in more than 100 of the cases.
Although the organisation, which counts nearly four million adult and youth members, has long sought to keep the "perversion files" out of public view, it could face a damning wave of lawsuits and bad publicity in the coming weeks as the records are set to be released.