CLEVELAND - More than two dozen northeast Ohio scout leaders and adult volunteers are included in secret files maintained by the Boy Scouts of America that reveal years of alleged sexual abuse.
The files were obtained by the Scripps National Investigative Unit as part of a massive investigation into more than 1,200 sexual abuse case in the Boy Scouts from 1965 to 1985.
Scripps is the parent company of NewsChannel5 and our investigative team shared in the review of files that contain 85 cases across Ohio and 33 right here in northeast Ohio.
For example, in Canton, a leader pleaded no contest to molesting a 15-year-old scout and was charged with sexually abusing three other cub scouts.
In Painesville, a scout leader was accused of "touching a boy's private parts."
In Elyria, another leader was accused of raping an "unknown number of boys over at least a two-year period."
They were among 17 who were removed from scouting positions and reported to local police for investigation. Some of those resulted in criminal convictions and were sent to prison. But some complaints were kept secret by top scout executives.
We found 16 cases of suspected sexual abuse that were never reported to authorities.
Those involved were kicked out of scouting, but allowed to remain free to possibly commit further sex crimes. The revelation of the scouts' secret files resulted in an apology from the national organization .
"There is no question that there are times in the past, and these go back 40 or 50 years, that we did not do the job that we should have and for that, and for the people hurt, we are profoundly sorry," said Boy Scouts of America President Wayne Perry.
The Boy Scouts of America now have changed their policy regard alleged sexual abuse.
It includes criminal background checks on leaders and volunteers, comprehensive training programs and mandated reporting of even suspected cases of abuse.
The Scripps National Investigative Team will be releasing its investigation on NewsChannel5 on Sunday, Oct. 28 at 11 p.m.