CLEVELAND– New details on the so-called “Perversion Files,” created by the Boy Scouts of America, was made public during a news conference by attorneys in New York and New Jersey.
The documents contain thousands of scout leaders who allegedly sexually assaulted more than 12,000 young boys since 1944.
Locally, a 30-year-old former Olmsted Falls scout leader and auxiliary officer was sentenced to eight years in prison for sexually assaulting a teenage Boy Scout multiple times.
“Ah, sorry for the terrible situation that has happened. Sorry for the mistakes that were made,” said convicted child molester Aaron Robertson last June.
Now, we know more than 7,800 BSA leaders nationwide were accused by the lawyers of child sex abuse. Many of the former scouts kicked out of the organization between 1947 and 2005 due to suspected sex abuse.
“They never alerted the community that this teacher, this coach, this scout leader who is also a priest, or an electrician is known to them to be a child molester,” attorney Jeff Anderson said.
In Ohio, there were more than 200 Boy Scout leaders who appeared in the “Perversion Files,” including 35 in Northeast Ohio.
The Lake Erie Council, based in Cleveland, declined comment, but release a statement from the Boy Scouts of America which said in part:
“At no time have we ever knowingly allowed a perpetrator to work with youth, and we mandate that ll leaders, volunteers and staff members nationwide immediately report any abuse allegation to law enforcement.”
Survivor advocates at the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center are hoping the new revelations will encourage other victims, nationwide and here at home, to come forward.
“There’s a silence in our community of where we don’t talk about this, and when you’re talking about little boys, young men, there’s definitely that layer of stigma attached to it when they are victimized,” said Chief Advocacy Officer Teresa Stafford.
Attorneys say they do plan to file multiple civil lawsuits against the BSA as early as this August.