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Scout files: No profile for molesters

Oct. 17, 2012 at 6:44 PM   |   Comments

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Men who abused boys in scouting engaged in some similar behaviors but did not generally fit a profile, files maintained by the Boy Scouts of America indicate.

The Los Angeles Times, in a report on thousands of case summaries over two decades, said Wednesday thousands of men the organization has expelled for abusing children typically engaged in so-called grooming -- in which they seduce victims incrementally with favors, gifts and personal attention. The files describe cases in which men permitted boys to drive cars, consume alcohol and look at pornography before moving on to skinny dipping, showering together and spending the night.

In one file from York, Pa., an assistant scoutmaster said boys in one troop accused a 28-year-old scoutmaster in the 1980s of inviting them to sleep over at his house and then giving them beer and pornography.

"And then as they become further inebriated and perhaps sexually excited from viewing the pornographic films, he touches them and tries to undress them, and then proceeds to do other things if he is successful," the assistant wrote.

While those sorts of behaviors are relatively common among molesters, no demographic profile appears to point to sexual predation, the Times said.

The BSA has expelled thousands of men for abusing boys -- including men who work in law enforcement, teaching and public service, as well as blue-collar and white-collar workers. The group includes teenagers, seniors and all ages in between.

Scouting officials declined requests for an interview, but BSA Youth Protection Director Mike Johnson has said scouting conducts criminal background checks, requires two adults to lead all activities and provides training in "personal safety awareness, including teaching them to recognize, resist and report abuse."

The report comes one day before hundreds of files from the 1960s, '70s and '80s are to be release under an order issued by the Oregon Supreme Court.

Topics: Mike Johnson
© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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