ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- Confidential files kept for years by Boy Scouts of America detailing allegations of sexual abuse against boys include 47 cases from Missouri.
A majority of the Missouri cases included in files released Thursday come from troops in St. Louis and Kansas City or their suburbs, but cases also were reported in such places as Neosho, Fort Leonard Wood and Chillicothe.
The Boy Scouts released about 14,500 pages of what are being called “perversion files” on cases across the country dating from 1959 to 1985.
A Portland law firm that made the files available stressed that simply because a case is on the list does not mean the allegations are true. Some of the cases did result in court sentences but others have not been substantiated or were dropped.
News 4 has been looking through the files and discovered from 1964 to 1984, 12 St. Louis scout leaders were removed from their leadership positions. Some of the scout leaders were removed after they had been arrested or convicted of molesting boys separate from scouting. But in four cases, the leaders were accused of molesting scouts they were supposed to be leading and protecting.
“Our hearts go out to every child who was abused,” said St. Louis Boy Scouts Spokesman Joe Mueller.
But the files did not show any evidence that information was ever turned over to police.
News 4’s Russell Kinsaul asked Mueller why police were not notified.
“Well in 75 cases police were called and in and involved,” Mueller said.
But it’s unclear from the records of those four cases whether scouting leaders ever notified police.
“Unless those who conceal sexual abuse are revealed and punished then they’ll continue to do it,” said SNAP’s David Clohessy, who works with survivors of abuse.
Boy Scouts officials point out attitudes and procedures have changed. They say there are many more safeguards to protect young boys today.
Some of those changes included background checks on all scout leaders. Also, every scouting employee and volunteer is now required to report any allegation of sexual abuse to police, which was not the case before.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.