Boy Scouts of America Refuses to do the Right Thing for Child Protection
(St. Paul, MN) – A Minnesota court denied a request to order Boy Scouts of America to publicly release 1,538 secret Boy Scouts files on leaders with allegations of sexual misconduct against children. Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has refused to make public the perpetrator names and documents contained in these files, known as Perversion Files.
The law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates, representing a survivor of childhood sexual abuse by a Minnesota scoutmaster, sought the public release of the 1,538 Perversion Files in Ramsey County District Court. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison filed a brief supporting the release of the files.
“We respect the judge’s decision,” said attorney Jeff Anderson of Jeff Anderson & Associates. “But we shouldn’t have to ask a judge to order the Boy Scouts to do the right thing and release these files. The Boy Scouts should do it on their own. By keeping these files secret, the Boy Scouts are concealing perpetrators who have hurt kids. Many of them may still be hurting kids. Child protection should be the Boy Scouts’ most important concern but instead they are more concerned about protecting themselves.”
Anderson sought the release of the 1,538 Perversion Files in the case of John Doe 180, who was sexually abused as a minor by Boy Scout leader Peter Stibal. John Doe 180’s lawsuit in Ramsey County against Stibal, BSA and related entities settled in 2014. The 1,538 Perversion Files were produced to John Doe 180 under seal, not to be released publicly. Anderson asked Ramsey County District Court Judge Leonardo Castro to order the public release of the files.
- The Perversion Files in the John Doe 180 case comprise approximately 1,538 cases of sexual misconduct by BSA and 48,000 pages of documents from the years 1999-2008. Since these files are recent, most of the perpetrators are likely still alive and may still be working with children.
- In January 2019, defense expert Dr. Janet Warren testified in a Hennepin County trial involving The Children’s Theatre Company that she was hired by BSA to review all BSA Ineligible Volunteer files (which include Perversion Files) from 1944-2016. Her review revealed an astounding 7,819 Boy Scout sexual misconduct perpetrators and 12,254 victims from 1944-2016. It is unknown how many of the 7,819 perpetrators BSA has disclosed publicly.
- In 2012, BSA was forced to disclose more than 1,200 of its Perversion Files from the years 1965-1985 as part of a lawsuit brought by a survivor in Oregon.
- BSA has maintained Perversion Files since the 1920s. It is believed that BSA has made public only approximately 5,000 Perversion Files and that it is keeping secret thousands more. By doing so, BSA is putting kids at risk.
Anderson said he is grateful to Attorney General Ellison for supporting his request in the Ramsey County matter.
“We urge attorneys general and law enforcement across the country to do all that is within their power to seek the release of all BSA Perversion Files,” Anderson said. “The Boy Scouts have concealed an ongoing hazard for decades. The harm facing children is real and the time to do something about it is now.”