Boy Scouts release buried child abuse documents
The Boy Scouts of America has released decades of so-called "perversion files", showing how a range of authorities - from police to pastors - quietly allowed scoutmasters and others accused of molesting children to go free.
In many instances police weren't told about the reports of abuse. And even when they were, sometimes local law enforcement did nothing, seeking to protect Scouting's reputation.
The confidential papers, released by order of the Oregon Supreme Court, are a window on a much larger collection of Boy Scouts documents.
The files - collected between 1959 and 1985, with a handful from later years - contain details about proven molesters but also unsubstantiated allegations.
Portland attorney Kelly Clark criticised the Boy Scouts for their continuing legal battles to keep the full collection of files secret. "You do not keep secrets hidden about dangers to children."
Scouts spokesman Deron Smith said: "There is nothing more important than the safety of our Scouts." He said there have been times when Scouts' responses to sex abuse allegations were "plainly insufficient, inappropriate, or wrong," and the organisation extends its "deepest and sincere apologies to victims and their families".
The Scouts in September said they would look into past cases to see whether there were times when abusers should have been reported to police.
The Scouts did not institute mandatory reporting for suspected child abuse until 2010.