Lawsuit demands release of Boy Scout 'perversion files' - WFLA News Channel 8

Lawsuit demands release of Boy Scout 'perversion files'

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Attorney Damian Mallard addresses the media Attorney Damian Mallard addresses the media
SARASOTA COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

A Sarasota attorney says three local Boy Scouts were sexually assaulted by fellow troop members while camping.

Now, he's fighting for the release of secret files.

The attorney says the Boy Scouts of America keeps records of all boy-on-boy sexual assaults dating back for years.

The victims' families feel this information can prevent these crimes from reoccurring.

A father did not want to reveal his face, and spoke to News Channel 8 anonymously, but he wanted to tell his son's story.

"At that particular time he was 13, this is not something a 13-year-old boy wants to talk about," said the father.

In 2009, his son says he was sexually abused by a fellow troop member on three occasions.  It took time for his son to open up, and now the 17-year-old goes through counseling.

"You would think that with the leaders there, that they would make sure that they would be watched," the father said.

Attorney Damien Mallard is representing three local boys who were allegedly sexually assaulted by two troop members in 2007 and 2009.

In at least one case, a boy was forced to perform a sex act at knifepoint.

Mallard says the Boy Scouts of America keeps records on all of these attacks. He calls them "perversion files".

"The Boy Scouts of America did not disseminate that information to any of these boys, to their parents, to the troop leaders, to anybody," said Mallard.

Mallard's clients are suing the Boy Scouts, and he has asked the Scouts to release ten years' worth of files.  Mallard says a judge has ordered the release of these documents, but the Boy Scouts of America has been fighting in court to avoid producing them.

Mallard says this is information all Boy Scout parents should know.

"Since the Boy Scouts of America is not doing anything to get that information out so that this does not happen to anybody else's boy, the parents of these three kids wanted to make this known so they can get this information out," Mallard said.

The father of one of the alleged victims feels these files can help fellow parents protect their children.

He said, "I don't want another parent to have to go through what I went through here."

The cases are expected to be brought to trial next year.

Mallard says one of the suspects is currently on probation, and the other is serving time at a youth offender facility for another sexual assault on a six-year-old boy.

Boy Scouts of America spokesman Deron Smith released a statement:

"The abuse of anyone, especially a child, is intolerable and our thoughts and prayers go out to those who may be a victim of this type of reprehensible behavior. While we can't comment on the lawsuit, we extend our deepest sympathies to those involved. The safety of our youth members is of paramount importance.  Recognizing that youth protection requires sustained vigilance, the BSA was on the forefront of developing youth protection policies and continues to develop and enhance efforts to protect youth through clear policies, as well as training and education programs for scouts, parents, and adult volunteers.  The BSA has continuously enhanced its multi-tiered policies and procedures, which include background checks, comprehensive training programs, and safety policies, like requiring all members to report even suspicions of abuse directly to local law enforcement."

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