EXPERTS SAY POSTING BOY SCOUTS’ ‘PERVERSION FILES’ ONLINE SENDS MESSAGE AGAINST PROTECTING MOLESTERS
They were protected by the Boy Scouts, pastors and even local authorities for decades, butnow the names of more than 1,200 accused child molesters are in the public domain though expertswarn that the new list is not tantamount to a sex offender registry. Unlike sex offenderregistries, the men on the Boy Scouts list, obtained after a two year court battle and postedonline by a Portland, Oregon law firm, have not necessarily been charged, much less convicted ofany crime. Many are now dead, and the Statute of Limitations likely bars prosecutions. But child advocates said the real value in making the names public is to discourage otherorganizations from covering up abuse allegations. Some advocates for child victims of sexoffenders said dumping of the raw files is somewhat troubling, given that the names may includeinnocent people. But Laura Ahearn, executive director of Parents for Megan's Law and theCrime Victims Center, said the blame ultimately rests with the organization that protected suspectsinstead of kids. It's due process vs. protecting kids, Ahearn said. The greaterconcern to me is that the Boy Scouts of America behaved in a manner that indicates to the publicthat they are above the law. They've created this complete disaster for the public to dealwith. It has to go to one extreme so the public can see exactly how this organizationbehaved.