We are learning more about allegations the Boys Scouts of America hid reports of child molestation by scout leaders for decades.
Now the so-called “perversion files” are open to the public, and as Newswatch 16 first reported two weeks ago, leaders from our area are on the list.
The Boys Scouts were ordered to turn over thousands of confidential records from the 1960s through the 1980s.
The files list scout leaders banned for life after accusations of sex abuse.
The names became available online yesterday. There are 13 listed from our area but Action 16 obtained the master list showing 30 leaders, from places such as Scranton, Honesdale, and Williamsport.
Parents we spoke with are sickened at the thought of a cover-up.
Barbara Carrera is a mother of two young boys and said with stories of child sex abuse in the news constantly, she fears for her children every day.
“I don’t want anything to happen to them. I don’t want any harm to come to them,” said Carrera. “I’m always fearful going into a store; I mean it could happen anywhere.”
“You don’t know who’s safe and who’s not,” said Ruth Whitehouse, mom of a boy scout.
The Boy Scouts were ordered to turn over thousands of confidential records from the 1960s through the 1980s called “perversion files” listing the names of scout masters banned for life from the organization after they were accused of sexual abuse.
More than 80 names are from Pennsylvania with 13 from our area.
Parents said if this is true, the Boy Scouts are guilty of hiding years of sexual assault.
“They should definitely have gone through with the authorities like they should have,” said Whitehouse. “And it could have been stopped long time ago.”
“As a parent, I would want it to go to the authorities no matter what the accusations are,” said Carrera. “You’ve got to take a child serious, and people should not just get swept under the carpet and pushed aside and put them somewhere else.”
Just the thought of anyone hurting their child and even worse, getting away with it, made some parents angry.
“Nobody’s taking responsibility, and it’s not right,” said Carrera.
Others became emotional.
“I’d be heartbroken. I wouldn’t know how to deal with it, honestly, aww, my baby,” said Whitehouse, as she hugged her son, Donald.