Boy Scouts 'perversion files' include 16 Panhandle-area cases

      The Boy Scouts of America released 14,500 pages of previously confidential documents concerning child sexual abuse within the organization. Sixteen cases were reported in the Panhandle region.

      More than a dozen cases of suspected molestation in the Texas Panhandle-area were uncovered by the Boy Scouts of America.

      Eight cases were in Amarillo and eight others were spread throughout the Texas Panhandle and Eastern New Mexico.

      The eight cases in the Panhandle are among the 5,000 cases released by the Boy Scouts of America. The so-called "perversion files' were part of 14,500 documents released. The files include memos from local and national scout executives, handwritten letters from victims and their parents and newspaper clippings about legal cases.

      The documents were being kept confidential and span from 1970-2005.

      Attorney Paul Mones said the files represent "the anguish of thousands of Scouts" who were abused by Scout leaders."

      The files were released by attorneys of a 2010 lawsuit that ended with the Boy Scouts of America paying $20 million.

      Boy Scout Troops in the Panhandle said they now complete comprehensive background checks on their troop leaders.

      "BSA started maintaining ineligible volunteer files in the 1910's as a way to help protect children from abuse over the years," said Andy Price Executive Scout, Golden Spread Council. "As society has grown more aware and learned more about the problem of abuse of children, and as scouting likewise has learned more about the abuse of children, we have updated and adjusted our guidelines to help protect kids from abuse."

      Though 16 cases were in the Amarillo area, Price said parents should not be worried.

      " Scouting is a safe program for boys, we have 1,700 volunteers who have all completed criminal background checks, who have completed youth protection training to help provide boys an opportunity to have fun and values that will help them be good men when they grow up," said Price. "There's not a better organization for a boy to be involved with, then scouting after his church."

      According to the documents, cases were in the following places in the Panhandle:

      1979 - Unit 80

      1989 - Unit 223

      1990 - Unit 31

      2000 - Unit 62

      2000 - Unit 3076

      2000 - Unit 80

      2000 - Unit 64

      2001 - Unit 72

      2004 - Unit 2565

      Cannon AFB, N.M.

      1992 - Unit 132


      2001 - Unit 4

      Clayton, N.M

      1989 - Unit 264


      1990 - Unit 402


      2002 - Unit 501


      1978 - Unit 249


      1990 - Unit 57

      Nearby cases
      Liberal, Kan.

      1991 - Unit 181

      Moscow, Kan.

      1997 - Unit 187


      1991 - Unit 142

      For a full list, click here.

      Boy Scouts of America Statement on Ineligible Volunteer Files

      There have been instances where people misused their positions in Scouting to abuse children, and in certain cases, our response to these incidents and our efforts to protect youth were plainly insufficient, inappropriate, or wrong. Where those involved in Scouting failed to protect, or worse, inflicted harm on children, we extend our deepest apologies to victims and their families.

      While it is difficult to understand or explain individuals' actions from many decades ago, today Scouting is a leader among youth serving organizations in preventing child abuse. The BSA requires background checks, comprehensive training programs for volunteers, staff, youth and parents and mandates reporting of even suspected abuse. We have continuously enhanced our multi-tiered policies and procedures to ensure we are in line with and, where possible, ahead of society's knowledge of abuse and best practices for prevention. BSA's standards and relentless focus on youth protection have been recognized and praised by experts in child protection - including Victor Vieth, a former prosecutor who heads the National Child Protection Training Center.

      Experts have found that the BSA's system of Ineligible Volunteer Files functions well to help protect Scouts by denying entry to dangerous individuals, and Scouting believes that they play an important role in our comprehensive youth protection system.

      Wayne Perry

      National President, Boy Scouts of America