A local attorney is calling out the Boy Scouts of America.
He claims each day the organization refuses to release its files of alleged sex abuse, the lives of innocent children are put in danger.
The files include the names of thousands of scout leaders accused of sex abuse, who were never reported to law enforcement.
Local attorneys are trying to determine how many of them worked here in the tri-counties.
The scouts take pride in their strict code of ethics.
But Santa Barbara attorney Tim Hale says thousands of scout leaders don’t practice what they teach.
“There are countless men accused of sex abuse, who only leadership and scouting knows about, but have not been released to law enforcement, who are still free placing today’s children at risk.”
Hale represents a boy, who was sexually abused by scout leader Al Stein in Goleta back in 2007.
Stein pleaded no contest in 2009, and served time in prison.
Hale fought the scouts to release their files which date back to the early 1990s.
He just received them last week, but he’s not allowed to make them public.
The scouts announced policy changes, including required background checks, training programs and mandating the reporting of suspected abuse.
But, Hale says that’s not enough.
He says many of the allegations in the scout files, fall under the statute of limitations, which means the accused could face criminal charges.
Hale says he plans to make sure they do.
The Boy Scouts of America released this statement:
“The safety of our youth members is of paramount importance to the Boy Scouts of America. While a review of the ineligible volunteer files showed that there were some instances of abuse that may not have been reported to law enforcement, the BSA previously committed to identifying those instances and sharing that information with law enforcement with the goal of ensuring all good-faith suspicion of abuse has been reported. It is also important to note that an independent review found the majority of files indicated the involvement of law enforcement. While it is difficult to understand or explain individuals’ actions from many decades ago, today Scouting is a leader among youth serving organizations in preventing child abuse. The BSA requires background checks, comprehensive training programs for volunteers, staff, youth and parents and mandates reporting of even suspected abuse. We have continuously enhanced our multi-tiered policies and procedures to ensure we are in line with and, where possible, ahead of society’s knowledge of abuse and best practices for prevention. Today, BSA policy requires mandatory reporting to law enforcement on any allegation of suspected abuse and the BSA has always cooperated fully with any request from law enforcement.”