|Dallas Civil Litigation Attorney Trey Branham quoted in the Dallas Business Journal article |
Report: Boy Scouts helped conceal alleged child molesters
|September 17, 2012 11:44 pm|
The Dallas Business Journal:
Irving-based Boy Scouts of Americahas come under public scrutiny for the second time this year after the Los Angeles Times reported that the organization failed to report hundreds of cases of alleged child molestation to police over two decades and often hid the allegations from parents and the public.
The Times report this past weekend comes within weeks of the Boy Scouts' announcement that it would retain its current policy that bans openly gay boysfrom being members and bans gay or lesbian adults from being scout leaders, a move that drew criticism from as high as the White House.
In its story, the Times said it reviewed 1,600 confidential Boy Scout files dating from 1970 to 1991. According to the story, scouting officials often urged admitted offenders to resign quietly and aided many of them in covering up the incidents.
The Boy Scouts released a statement on Monday saying the reports reviewed for the article were from the organization's "ineligible volunteer files" and are about 40 years old. The Scouts also released a timeline examining how awareness and prevention of child sexual abuse have evolved across law enforcement, the courts, childhood development experts and youth-serving organizations through the past 100 years.
The Times reported that in roughly 400 of those cases, there is no record that the Boy Scouts reported the allegations to police and that Scouting officials actively sought to conceal allegations or allowed suspects to hide it.
"Because of the time frame, so much of it is going to depend on individual states' laws, statutes of limitation, discovery rules and that kind of thing," Branham said.
Branham compared the allegations to the recent sex abuse case at Penn State University.
"If the (court) papers say what has been reported (in the press), you have a clear, organizational, institutional decision not to report people who were engaging in these type of crimes," he said. "And at least in some instances, they made decisions not to go to police. That sounds an awful lot like what the administration was reportedly doing (at Penn State)."
© 2012 American City Business Journals
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