Some were molested at camping events, by volunteers or paid leaders who crept into their sleeping bags or broached talks of sex.
The Boy Scouts’ list of “ineligible volunteers” includes more than 30 reports of alleged sexual abuse in the Akron-Canton area and almost 200 others statewide.
The confidential reports were among those ordered released by the Oregon Supreme Court following an $18.5 million civil judgment against the organization in 2010. That brings to almost 5,000 the number of once confidential cases nationwide that the Los Angeles Times has posted in its online database.
In a statement last week, the Boy Scouts’ national President Wayne Perry said the organization had increased efforts to protect youth in recent years, from criminal background checks to mandates that leaders report suspected abuse to authorities.
“Today, we’re a different organization,” said Jim Shimko, program director for the Great Trail Council covering Summit, Portage, Medina and northern Wayne counties. “It was a different time.”
The reports released last week redact the names of the victims but include the names of the alleged or convicted abusers who were on the organization’s “ineligible volunteers” list.
Some reports include handwritten accounts from victims and their families and court records and news clippings to bolster the organization’s position that the perpetrator should not be allowed to rejoin a troop.
Local reports include a 1982 case in Barberton in which a family pursued an assistant scoutmaster through the court for wrestling nude with their son in an overnight stay at the volunteer’s home.
“The incident was not as serious as it could have been, but I think it does warrant his being placed on our confidential list,” a district official wrote to the national office.
In 1972, a volunteer tried to hypnotize a boy from a Cuyahoga Falls troop at Camp Butler. The child went along with the act, but wasn’t hypnotized. The volunteer performed sex acts on the child and then “woke” him up. The child apparently reported what happened and the adult admitted what he had done.
The abuser “was asked to leave camp ... It was suggested that he seek professional guidance for his problem,” according to the report.
A leader for an Akron troop was charged with sodomizing 10 troop members ages 9 to 13, according to a Beacon Journal clipping included with a September 1973 report.
In Licking County, an adult employed as a camp archery instructor and chaplain admitted to masturbating a youth in 1977 despite his Christian values.
“He assured me that no other incidents occurred during camp, but I do not believe him,” a Scouting official wrote.
In Columbus, an assistant troop leader resigned in 1984 when confronted with four separate accounts of fondling and more. Two years later he sought to rejoin the Scouts under any terms it sought to impose.
In a letter to an Ohio troop official, he cited his enrollment at Otterbein College and good grades as reasons to give him a second chance.
But the Scouts balked at his request: “Approving him as a leader would certainly discredit and embarrass The Movement,” wrote the scoutmaster who’d instigated his original ouster. There is no indication the volunteer was reinstated.
The Times database, available at http://spreadsheets.latimes.com/boyscouts-cases/, includes all of the Boy Scouts’ ineligible files to 2005, although some have been created since then.
Carol Biliczky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-996-3729.