Boy Scouts of America Contests Release of Documents in Sex Abuse Case

Lawyers for the Boy Scouts of America are contesting a judge’s order for the release of 20 years of private documents. The order is a result of a negligence lawsuit brought against the BSA by a former scout. He has claimed that “a local Scout executive tried to talk the boy’s mother out of reporting the crime to police and cites that as an example of a longstanding effort to conceal widespread abuse in Scouting.” His lawyer believes personnel files will reveal systematic coverups of abuse.

The order comes after failed mediation attempts.

“The confidentiality of the files encourages prompt reporting of questionable behavior, removes the fear of retaliation and ensures reporters, victims and their families the privacy they deserve,” spokesman Deron Smith said Thursday.

In a writ filed this week with the California 2nd District Court of Appeal, the Scouts seek to reverse a ruling by Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Donna Geck, who in January ordered all files dating to 1991 turned over to the boy’s lawyers but not made public. She has since set a May 9 deadline to do that. LA Times, 27 April 2012.

The BSA has been plagued with allegations of sexual abuse and coverup over the past few years. Read more about the issue on the LA Times website.