Former Birmingham Resident Part of Boy Scout Child Sex Abuse Documents
The Boy Scouts of America recently released files on thousands of expelled and blacklisted leaders, including 171 cases in Michigan.
A former Birmingham resident is part of a recently-releasd Los Angeles Times database of Boy Scouts of America leaders and volunteers expelled and blacklisted amid suspicions of sexual abuse.
Last week, 14,500 pages of confidential files kept by the Boy Scouts on individuals suspected of child sex abuse were released by order of Oregon's highest court, according to the Associated Press.
Those files included 171 cases in Michigan, including one concerning a former Birmingham resident.
A Portland, Ore., attorney, who won a landmark case against the Boy Scouts on behalf of a plaintiff molested by an assistant scoutmaster in the 1980s, released the documents to the public at kellyclarkattorney.com. The files cover a 20-year period, from 1965 to 1985.
The Los Angeles Times, using the newly released files and other data from other cases, then built a database and interactive map of its own.
Soon after the documents were released, the Boy Scouts of America posted a statement on its website about the documents, known as the "ineligible volunteer" files:
"There have been instances where people misused their positions in Scouting to abuse children, and in certain cases, our response to these incidents and our efforts to protect youth were plainly insufficient, inappropriate, or wrong," national president Wayne Perry said. "Where those involved in Scouting failed to protect, or worse, inflicted harm on children, we extend our deepest apologies to victims and their families."
In most cases, the men accused of sexual abuse were not reported to authorities, but kept in a file to prevent them from volunteering with the Boy Scouts again.
Part of the release are files on a former Birmingham resident who led a Boy Scout troop in Royal Oak in the late 1950's, later moving to Rockford, Ill. According to the files — which includes several illegible hand-written notes, scanned newspaper clippings and letters from Boy Scout administrative staff — the man was later blacklisted from scouts in the mid-1960s.
Because many of the men listed in the decades-old Boys Scout files have not been charged or convicted of crimes, some media outlets, including the Boston Globe, have refrained from naming them without further investigating the allegations. Birmingham Patch also believes that is a reasonable precaution.
Michigan Regional Editor Clare Pfeiffer Ramsey and Royal Oak Editor Judy Davids contributed to this report.