Internal documents from the Boy Scouts of America reveal more than 125 cases in which men suspected of molestation allegedly continued to abuse Scouts, despite a blacklist meant to protect boys from sexual predators.
A Los Angeles Times review of more than 1,200 files from 1970 to 1991 found suspected abusers regularly remained in the organization after officials were first presented with sexual misconduct allegations.
Predators moved from troop to troop because of clerical errors, computer glitches or the Scouts’ failure to check the blacklist, known as the “perversion files,” the newspaper said.
In at least 50 cases, the Scouts expelled suspected abusers, only to discover they had re-entered the organization and were accused of molesting again.
In other cases, officials failed to document reports of abuse in the first place, letting offenders stay in the program until new allegations came to light, the Times reported.
One scoutmaster was expelled in 1970 for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy in Indiana. After being convicted of the crime, he went on to join two troops in Illinois between 1971 and 1988.
He later admitted to molesting more than 100 boys, was convicted of the sexual assault of a Scout in 1989 and was sentenced to 100 years in prison, according to his file and court records.
In 1991, a Scout leader convicted of abusing a boy in Minnesota returned to his old troop shortly after getting out of jail.