Nineteen Orange County men were banned from scouting over sexual abuse allegations between 1959 and 1985, according to the so-called “Perversion Files” the Boy Scouts released Thursday under court order.
Coupled with previous known cases, that makes 47 within the Orange County Council of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).
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Since the BSA was founded in 1910, files have been kept on more than 1,200 men nationwide suspected of molesting boys or being gay. Law enforcement was contacted in some, but not all, the cases where the Scouts suspected a crime occurred.
A court in Portland, Oregon, ordered these files be released to the public. They show 134 cases in California between 1965 and 1985. No word on this from the Santa Ana-based Orange County Council.
The Weekly previously pointed you to former troop leader Richard “Rick” Turley, who bounced between packs in his native British Columbia and California in the 1970s and '80s molesting boys, including three from Orange County. A joint investigation by the Los Angeles Times and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. concluded the BSA knew of Turley's pedophilia but allowed him to continue leading troops on both sides of the border.
The molestations of the Orange County boys during an outing in the San Diego area happened after Turley had been committed to Patton State Hospital in Highland as a
“mentally disordered sex offender.” The Scouts and the OC boys' families agreed not to prosecute Turley if he agreed to leave the country. He went on to molest more boys in Canada and was eventually sentenced to five years in prison after his girlfriend ratted him out.
When reporters tracked Turley down in Alberta recently and showed him a copy of his 1979 “Perversion File,” he shook his head in amazement and remarked that one call to police would have ended his reign of terror, adding, “That probably would have put a stop to me years and years ago.”
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.