PORTLAND, Ore. - Thousands of pages of newly-released documents show that for decades, scoutmasters and others who were accused of molesting children were protected by police, prosecutors, pastors and local Boy Scout leaders.
At the time, those authorities justified their actions as being necessary to protect the good name and good works of the Scouts.
But the nearly 15,000 pages of "perversion" files that were released today reveal that they were allowing sexual predators to go free while victims suffered in silence.
The files are part of a much larger collection that the Boy Scouts of America began keeping soon after the organization was founded in 1910. The files were released by order of the Oregon Supreme Court.
They include details of a 1965 case in Louisiana, in which a mother told sheriff's deputies that a scoutmaster had raped one of her sons and molested two others. Days later, the scoutmaster confessed. But a decision was made not to pursue charges against him.
A Louisiana Scouts executive wrote to the organization's national office, saying that the man wasn't prosecuted "to save the name of Scouting."
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