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Last updated on Wednesday, October 24, 2012
(UNDATED) - Previously confidential “perversion” files released Thursday show a man, who served as scoutmaster of a Dugger-based Boy Scout troop and Cub Scout pack in the 1970s, is on list of more than 1,200 leaders and volunteers banned after being accused of sexual or inappropriate conduct with boys.
Nick Schneider of the Greene County Daily World reports that the name of Edward S. Elmquist, who was the leader of Boy Scout Troop 385 and Cub Pack 60 from October 1972 until Feb. 14, 1974, is on a list of more than 20,000 confidential Boy Scout documents that have been released
The public release of the Scouts' 1,247 "ineligible volunteer files" from 1965 to 1985 does not identify the boy victims and witnesses.
The Boy Scouts released about 14,500 pages of what are being called "perversion files" on cases across the country dating from 1959 to 1985.
A Portland, Oregon, law firm that made the files available stressed that simply because a case is on the list does not mean the allegations are true. Some of the national cases resulted in court sentences, but others have not been substantiated or were dropped, according to The Associated Press.
Elmquist, who worked in the construction field, was 25-years-old at the time he was asked to resign by members of the troop committee for "alleged immoral acts with scouts," according to files from the Wabash Valley Boy Scout Council 66 in Terre Haute.
His file with the council office reads, "It has been confirmed that, this subject has engaged in and caused a male of Cub Scout age to also engage in an act of sodomy."
One of the alleged male victims was 8 years old at the time of the incident, according to a letter that was written by the Cub Scout's parent as part of a court case record exhibit No. 497.
In a letter dated Feb. 17, 1975 from Wabash Valley Council No. 166 Scout Executive Earl L. Brandt to Paul Ernst, Registration Service Boy Scouts of America in North Bunswick, New Jersey, Brandt wrote, "Mr. Elmquist engaged in sexually deviant acts with boys; He exercised poor judgment as a leader often acting against B.S.A. policy; He should not be registered with B.S.A. under any circumstances."
It is not known if Elmquist still lives in the Dugger area. The Greene County Daily World was unable to locate a contact telephone number or determine an address.
A phone message was left at the Wabash Valley Council B.S.A. office in Terre Haute seeking comment was not returned.
There is another case with a Greene County connection, but no name is attributed to it in the released files. It's listed from Jasonville in 1990. In the area, there is also a case from Washington (1967), Vincennes (1999) and two cases from Bloomington (1988 and 1989).
The national files were distributed with the approval of the Oregon Supreme Court by a law firm that won an $18.5 million judgment in 2010 against the Boy Scouts in a case where a Scoutmaster sexually abused a boy.
Wayne Perry, president of Boy Scouts of America, in a prepared statement, said the organization's responses to allegations of abuse by volunteers "were plainly insufficient, inappropriate or wrong."
"Where those involved in Scouting failed to protect, or worse, inflicted harm on children, we extend our deepest and sincere apologies to victims and their families," Perry said in a statement issued Wednesday evening on the B.S.A. website. "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 Boy Scouts opposed the release of the internal records and said their confidentiality has encouraged prompt reporting of questionable behavior and privacy for victimized boys and their families, according to The Associated Press.
Attorneys representing victims in several lawsuits against the Scouts say the group hid evidence from the public and police and that the so-called perversion files offer insight into what they deem a serious problem in the organization, according to The Associated Press.
The secrecy protected more than 1,000 suspected child molesters, said the attorneys, who publicly released the documents during a news conference at a hotel in downtown Portland, Oregon. The attorneys are also seeking the release of post-1985 files from the Boy Scouts.
The Scouts, founded by congressional charter in 1910, instituted character reference checks for Scoutmasters in 1911 and, by the 1920s, began using an ineligible volunteers list deemed not having "the moral, emotional or character values for membership," the group said.
In June, the Oregon Supreme Court upheld a lower-court decision to release the documents as requested by media outlets.
"The court had discretion to order, on good cause shown, the release of those documents subject to the redaction of names set out in the exhibits to protect victims of child sexual abuse and reports of child sexual abuse from embarrassment, retaliation or other harm," the state Supreme Court said in its order. "The court in this case properly exercised that authority."
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