Boy Scouts Say They Tried to Prevent Abuse

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PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) – Grade-school visitors touring the Multnomah County Circuit Court were quickly shooed out of Judge John Wittmayer’s courtroom after chaperones realized their charges were listening to testimony in the $25 million punitive damages phase of a sex abuse trial against the Boy Scouts of America. Witnesses on Wednesday defended the Scouts’ efforts to train adult leaders to recognize and prevent child sex abuse, and why they did not use their extensive collection of records of abuse to warn parents.

Most of the defense testimony on Wednesday boiled down to three points
: that the Boy Scouts have no nationally mandated training program to train adult volunteers to recognize and prevent sexual abuse; that the Scouts have never explicitly warned parents that their sons might face sexual abuse from Scout leaders; and that no national Scout leader ever wanted to look at the thousands of records of alleged abuse in the organization’s “ineligible volunteer” files, nor did they think it would be useful or possible to have the files analyzed to help fight sexual abuse of children in Scouting.

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Darkness to Light would LOVE to work with the Boy Scouts to ensure that this tragedy doesn’t happen again. If you’re a Scout Leader or Parent, let the Scouts know that we have the 2007 National Crime Prevention Program of the Year, Stewards of Children.

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