WNYT.com

Calif. court: Scouts must surrender abuse files

Updated at: 12/13/2012 10:36 PM
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(AP) LOS ANGELES - A California appellate court has upheld a Santa Barbara judge’s order saying the Boy Scouts of America must surrender decades of confidential files detailing alleged child sex abuse.

A Scouts spokesman told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday ( http://lat.ms/XYWB5t) that the organization will appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court.

A lawsuit alleges that a local Scouts official tried to keep a boy’s mother from reporting his 2007 abuse by a volunteer leader to police.

The youth group denies the allegations.

"The BSA believes confidentiality of the files helps to encourage prompt reporting," spokesman Deron Smith told the Times.

Lawyers for the former Scout who was sexually abused by a volunteer leader in 2007 say the files they seek will expose a culture of hidden sexual abuse.

"If their first priority is child welfare, then stop the secrecy game - stop fighting for it," Timothy Hale, the family’s lawyer in the Santa Barbara case, told the newspaper.

In January, a Santa Barbara judge ordered all files since 1991 be turned over to the boy’s lawyers, but not the public. The Boy Scouts filed an appeal in April.

The order involves different files than the more than 1,200 made public in October by order of the Oregon Supreme Court. Those files ranged from 1965 to 1985.

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Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)