Confidential files kept by the Boy Scouts of America on men they suspected of child sex abuse are set to be released after a two-year-long court battle.



The anticipated release of the files on Thursday by Portland attorney Kelly Clark will reveal 20,000 pages of documents the Scouts kept on men inside — and in some cases outside — the organization believed to have committed acts of abuse.


The court-ordered release of the so-called perversion files from 1965 to 1985 has prompted the organization to pledge that they will go back into the files and report any offenders who may have not been reported to the police when alleged abuse took place.

That could prompt a new round of criminal prosecutions for offenders who have so far escaped justice.

In response to the release of the files, a statement & video was issued by Wayne Perry, National President, Boy Scouts of America offering an apology.

"There have been instances where people misused their positions in Scouting to abuse children, and in certain cases, our response to these incidents and our efforts to protect youth were plainly insufficient, inappropriate, or wrong. Where those involved in Scouting failed to protect, or worse, inflicted harm on children, we extend our deepest and sincere apologies to victims and their families."

He says BSA has taken steps over the years to prevent such incidents from happening again. "Today, any adult who wants to join Scouting must pass a criminal background check, but the BSA began collecting information on those ineligible to be volunteers decades before computers and other electronic databases were available."

An examination of the files by The Record shows at least 106 names from New Jersey. However, not much may come from the revelation.

“My understanding is that most of the cases are too old to take action on,” Chief Assistant Passaic County Prosecutor Joseph Del Russo tells The Record . “Cases in the 1970s and 80s are probably not prosecutable.’’

New Jersey eliminated its statute of limitations on the most serious of child sex crimes in 1996.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.