LOS ANGELES — The Boy Scouts of America says it will conduct a comprehensive review of files on suspected sexual predators, marking the first time it will thoroughly study its own confidential blacklist meant to keep predators out of scouting.
The review will examine allegations of abuse in the last 47 years to ensure all have been reported to law enforcement, the organization said.
The announcement comes nine days after the Los Angeles Times published an investigation that found officials did not report hundreds of cases of alleged sexual abuse between 1970 and 1991 to law enforcement. The findings were based on a review of 1,600 files entered into evidence in a 1992 court case.
For decades, the Boy Scouts have argued the confidential files contain no information of value to the public or for protecting youth in general against pedophiles.
Asked to explain why the Scouts were now analyzing their files, a Scout spokesman said in an email: “While we believe the files are an inconclusive record, the BSA will undertake a new review and analysis . to ensure that all good-faith suspicion of abuse (from 1965-present) have been reported to law enforcement."
In announcing the review Tuesday, the Boy Scouts also released a summary of a more limited study it commissioned that suggested the confidential files had helped protect Scouts from abuse. The analysis covered 1,200 files dating from 1960 to 1995 and was conducted for the Scouts by Janet Warren, a University of Virginia psychiatrist.