Report: Boy Scout leader vetting was lax

Dec. 2, 2012 at 11:33 AM

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Failure to conduct background checks resulted in pedophiles joining the ranks of Boy Scouts of America, a Los Angeles Times analysis of scouting records found.

The newspaper reported Sunday its analysis of confidential records found the organization paid a price for its long-running stand against performing background checks into prospective troop leaders.

Unlike many other volunteer groups dealing with minors, the BSA opposed background checks on the grounds they were expensive and provided a false sense of security, the Times said. There were also concerns the checks would discourage adults from volunteering.

At the same time, however, the lax security seemed to allow men with checkered pasts to become involved, the report said. Records reviewed by the Times found 230 men became leaders between 1985-1991 despite records of arrests or convictions on sex charges involving minors.

The same individuals were accused of molesting more than 400 boys while in scouting.

The BSA ignored repeated demands from parents to improve its vetting process, the newspaper said.

BSA told the Times in a written statement its precautions had been improved in recent years.

"Numerous independent experts have recognized that our programs for protecting Scouts from abuse are among the best in the youth-serving community," the statement said.

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