More files are released in the boy scout abuse scandalFargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- More files have been releases in the Boy Scout sex abuse scandal, and they hit home. These so-called "perversion files" name possible child molesters in their ranks from 1965 to 1985.
By: Becky Parker, WDAY
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- More files have been releases in the Boy Scout sex abuse scandal, and they hit home. These so-called "perversion files" name possible child molesters in their ranks from 1965 to 1985.
That list included former scout leaders from Moorhead, Hawley, Sabin, and Fergus Falls as well as about fourteen from North Dakota. Local scout officials say the files were no secret to them, they called them the "ineligible files..." and they were there to protect children.
Michael Lewis has been involved with the boy scouts in some way for much of his life.
He is an Eagle Scout, his son is an Eagle Scout, and he has been a volunteer leader for 16 years.
Lewis: "Scouting has given both myself and my family a foundation to build on. Lifelong foundation."
But the organization recently released hundreds of files, commonly referred to as the "perversion files," containing allegations of sex abuse by boy scout leaders spanning from 1965 to 1985.
The list includes several area leaders, including some from Moorhead, Hawley, Fergus Falls and Sabin.
But Lewis says, that was a different time.
Lewis: "We've tried to be on the forefront of how we as a society can work and work with families to prevent these types of activities. Not cover them up, but to identify them and make sure that they're not negatively affecting our program and what we do for the youth today."
Starting in the 80s, the Boy Scouts of America toughened their requirements for leadership and their responses to abuse.
Those included deep background checks, having 2 adult leaders present, and special training for children and parents.
Warren Wenner/Asst. Director of Field Services: "When parents come in, and they see the type of protection we have they're pretty impressed these days."
And officials hope the release of these files won't sour the public's view of the organization.
Wenner: "We've come a long way, we certainly want to make sure that we continue to look at other things to keep kids safe."
A group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is urging police and prosecutors to scour the list of possible offenders and hold them accountable.