Perversion Files


Since at least 1919, the Boy Scouts of Amer­ica has maintained a group of files known as “red files”, “perversion files” or “ineligible volunteer files” in­ten­ded to keep sexu­al ab­users, among oth­ers, out of its ranks. The re­cords have been closely held by the Scouts, which con­tends that con­fid­en­ti­al­ity is es­sen­tial to pro­tect vic­tims, wit­nesses and any­one falsely ac­cused.

There are three main sources for the data­base:
- About 1,900 files from 1970 to 1991 pro­duced as evid­ence in a 1992 Cali­for­nia law­suit
- About 1,200 case files from an over­lap­ping time peri­od — 1965 to 1985 — re­leased on or­der of the Ore­gon Su­preme Court
- And sum­mary data on about 3,100 ad­di­tion­al files from 1947 to Janu­ary 2005.  

Both the case sum­mar­ies and the 1970-to-1991 files were provided to the Los Angeles Times by plaintiffs’ at­tor­ney Timothy Kos­noff. Taken to­geth­er, the data­base ac­counts for all of the Boy Scouts’ sur­viv­ing files as of Janu­ary 2005.

An un­known num­ber of files were des­troyed by the Boy Scouts between the 1970s and the 1990s, and an un­known num­ber of ad­di­tion­al cases have been cre­ated since 2005.

has not been re­leased pub­licly by the Boy Scouts of Amer­ica.

In many of the in­cid­ents de­scribed, no crim­in­al charges were filed, mean­ing the al­leg­a­tions were nev­er heard in crim­in­al court.  Case files re­leased by the court have vic­tims’ names and identi­fy­ing in­form­a­tion re­dac­ted.

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