The alleged abuse happened on camping trips, in tents and trailers, inside sleeping bags. Boys from Cape Cod to the Berkshires, granted the privilege of sleeping beside one of their revered Scout leaders, were touched, grabbed, fondled in the night.
Again and again, a top Boy Scouts’ official delivered an identical, two-
sentence response to letters from district council leaders outlining the offenses: “Thank you for the detailed information concerning the above Scouter. We have reviewed this case with our attorney and have now placed this man on the Confidential File.”
Documents released this week under a court order paint a devastating picture of thousands of episodes of abuse, dozens in Massachusetts, that occurred on Scout-organized outings from about 1965 to 1985.
In Massachusetts, some accused leaders were terminated from their posts swiftly, sometimes weeks after allegations of inappropriate contact arose.
The Boy Scouts of America have maintained that the “perversion list,” which was accessible only to scout officials at the national council, helped them protect boys when accused abusers tried to apply for leadership positions within other troops.
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