WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – A number of Westchester men are included among the more than 1,500 names on the Boy Scouts of America's "perversion files" ordered released by an Oregon judge and officially made public Thursday.
The worldwide list, leaked last week, dates back to 1965. It includes the names of men from White Plains, Scarsdale, Rye, Mohegan Lake and Ossining who are among scout volunteers banned because of allegations of sexual misconduct. Not all of the people on the list were actually charged with any crime.
The Boy Scouts of America website says it has kept the “perversion files,” also known as the Ineligible Volunteer Files, to “keep scouts safe.” The records were central to a 2010 lawsuit, Lewis vs. Boy Scout of America, brought by former Boy Scouts alleging they were sexually abused.
The law firm of O’Donnell, Clark & Crew, which represented six former scouts in the case, posted the information online, and say while some cases in the “perversion files” have been substantiated in court, many more have never been reported to authorities.
"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,” Wayne Perry, national president of Boy Scouts of America, said in a statement. “Where those involved in Scouting failed to protect, or worse, inflicted harm on children, we extend our deepest and sincere apologies to victims and their families.
The BSA say on its website the files are kept to help keep out people who may harm its scouts. Police have been involved in 63 percent of the more than 1,000 files that have been released, the BSA website says.
"The files are kept confidential by Scouting because the BSA believes that confidentiality encourages prompt reporting of abuse," according to the BSA website. "However, their existence as part of the BSA's Youth Protection efforts is well-known and publicly acknowledged."