(FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) - Newly-released papers show the Boy Scouts of America covered up sexual abuse for years and dozens of the cases are from Massachusetts.
The files are known as the "perversion files" and it is a huge file with 14,500 pages. They detail more than two decades of alleged child abuse by the very people parents trusted to protect their kids.
The perversion files detail Boy Scouts' knowledge of Scout leaders who were accused of molesting boys from 1959 to 1985. The files were released on order of the Oregon Supreme Court, where lawyers who pushed for the release of these documents represent victims of some of the pedophiles.
The lawyers allege that in many cases the information kept in the files were kept secret to protect the good name and good works of Scouting.
The Boy Scouts of America says it kept the records to keep men from participating in Scouting after they'd been accused of wrongdoing and referred to the files as the ineligible volunteer files. The files contain hundreds of names from 49 states and about 45 on the list come from Massachusetts.
"You do not get to keep secrets about hidden dangers to children, period," said attorney Kelly Clark, one of the lawyers representing the victims. "End of conversation, that's what they did, it was wrong and that's why a jury was infuriated. There was no transparency and no openness as you will see."
"There are places where we fell short and didn't do the job we should have, and for that, we are profoundly sorry," said Wayne Perry, President of the Boy Scouts of America.
One of the cases FOX 25 reviewed, there is Paul Hightower, who lived in South Boston and Dorchester. According to his file, Hightower sexually assaulted an 11-year-old Scout in 1969 when Hightower was a Scoutmaster of Troop 212 in South Boston. In 1971, Hightower resigned. But in 1973, after receiving therapy, Hightower tried to rejoin the troop in a leadership role. He was denied that request. Before joining the Scouts, Hightower attended St. Johns Seminary in Boston to study for the priesthood.
The Scouts apologized to the victims and their families, but it remains to be seen if the release of the files will lead to lawsuits against the Boy Scouts.
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