On October 18, 2012, a court in Oregon ordered the Boy Scouts to release its confidential files on Boy Scout leaders and volunteers who had been banned from participating in Boy Scouts due to allegations of sexual abuse or other questionable activity.
Ninety of the incidents detailed in the extensive files allegedly occurred in Maryland.
Some news sources are listing the names of the men in the now-public files. Yet, many of the people listed were never charged or convicted of a sex crime. While some of the listed members have committed acts of sexual abuse, others have done very little harm or have been wrongfully accused.
We can expect that some former boy scouts will now step forward with allegations of abuse. Therefore, if your name is on the list, it is important to protect your reputation and your future by fighting any charges you face aggressively. A sex crimes conviction will not just land you in jail; it will also put your name on a sex offender registry and create a lifelong stigma.
Note: even if your alleged crime happened many years ago, there is no time limit for prosecuting felony sex offenses. If, however, your actions would be considered misdemeanors, there may be a statute of limitations that prevents prosecutors from charging you years after the offense allegedly occurred.
If you are concerned about your future, whether or not you have committed the alleged sex crime, a sex crimes defense lawyer can help you understand any charges that could be filed against you and their potential impact.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, “‘Perversion files’ reveal local failure in Boy Scouts,” Erin Cox, Andrea F. Siegel, Oct. 19, 2012.