The Boy Scout files of abuses, named the “Perversion Files”, is before the Oregon Supreme Court this week. The issue is gaining national attention. The Boy Scouts are trying to prevent the Perversion Files from becoming public. Supporting the Scouts and the withholding of the Perversion Files is TechAmerica the country’s largest tech trade organization which represents large businesses such as IBM, Microsoft, Boeing, General Electric Co. and Qwest. TechAmerica fears that the request could make companies vulnerable to trade secrets from court requests. TechAmerica said of the Oregon Constitution, “The trial court’s interpretation of it is so broad that it would preclude any protection of trade secrets at evidentiary hearings or trials.”
Those in favor of the Perversion Files records release are the Oregonian, the Associated Press, Oregon Public Broadcasting, the New York Times and several local TV stations. Attorney Kelly Clark said, “Oregon has one of the most expansive public records laws in the country, so for the BSA to argue that evidence received in open court during a public trial should remain secret is simply absurd, and underscores the Scouts’ desperation.”
The Perversion Files contain 20,000 pages of information on reported and suspect sex abuse within the Scouting organization. The date of the files range from 1965 to 1985. The Perversion Files came out of a case of victims who sued the Boy Scouts, the organization’s Cascade Pacific Council and also the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The victims were suing for sex abuse in the 1980’s by these organizations.
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