St. Paul, MN — In a civil lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and convicted sex offender and former Scoutmaster, Peter Stibal, Ramsey County District Judge Elena L. Ostby has ordered the release of previously secret records relating to sexual abuse within the BSA from the years 1999 to 2008.
The records, referred to by the BSA as the “Perversion Files”, are an internal system maintained for over 80 years to track adult leaders who sexually abuse boy scouts. The period in the Judge’s order reflects the time during which Peter Stibal was preying on scouts in Troop 650 in Burnsville, Minnesota. In 2011 Stibal was criminally convicted by a Dakota County jury for the sexual abuse of 1 scout and subsequently pled guilty to sexually molesting 3 other scouts from the periods of 2003 to 2008. The Dakota County Court sentenced him to 14 years in prison and his expected release date is March 2025.
This current civil lawsuit brought in Ramsey County was filed by one of the victims in the 2011 criminal action. The plaintiff is identified in the lawsuit as John Doe 180, as he is still a minor.
“The release of these files is another triumph in the fight for truth and the protection of our children over institutional secrecy,” said Jeff Anderson, one of the attorneys for the plaintiff. “The Boy Scouts have had a longstanding practice of keeping secrets and protecting their brand and reputation at the expense of children and their families,” added Anderson.
Anderson, who is widely recognized for his representation of children who have been sexually abused, praised the courage of the survivor and his family; “This brave survivor and his family came forward to make sure that Stibal didn’t abuse other kids and that the Boy Scouts at both the national and local level are held accountable for their responsibility in permitting secrecy to pervade the organization.”
Anderson, of St. Paul, Minnesota, is co-counsel with Paul Mones, of Portland, Oregon, who is also nationally known for his representation of victims of sexual abuse. Mones, along with his co-counsel Kelly Clark, obtained an almost 20 million verdict against the Boy Scouts of America in Portland, Oregon in 2010. That landmark case resulted in the first public release of the 1965-1985 Perversion Files in October 2012. Mones stated, “This court order represents just the latest recognition by a state court that the perversion files are important to a victim’s claim that the BSA had knowledge about the nature and extent of the problem of adult leaders sexually molesting scouts.” Mones continued, “This decision represents the third state court decision in less than a year (the other two being Texas and California) which ordered the production of these critical files.”
This case is scheduled for trial in Ramsey County District Court before Judge Elena Ostby in spring 2013.