Boy Scouts covered up sexual abuse of boys for decades, according to “perversion files.”

Beginning at least in the 1920s, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) kept records of incidents and accusations of child sexual abuse which they referred to as the “perversion files,” according to the LA Times. Every effort was made to cover up these incidents, which were not reported to law enforcement.

Those records have surfaced in recent years in lawsuits by former Scouts, accusing the group of failing to exclude known pedophiles, detect abuses or turn in offenders to the police.

The Oregon Supreme Court is now weighing a request by newspapers, a wire service and broadcasters to open about 1,200 more files in the wake of a nearly $20-million judgment in a Portland sex abuse case last year.

The Scouts’ handling of sex-abuse allegations echoes that of the Catholic Church in the face of accusations against its priests, some attorneys say.

“It’s the same institutional reaction: scandal prevention,” said Seattle attorney Timothy Kosnoff, who has filed seven suits in the last year by former Scouts but was not involved in the Oregon case.

The article focuses in detail on the exploits of one abuser, Rick Turley, who began insinuating himself into scout groups when he was just 18 years old. He learned that scouts provided a ready source of young boys to take advantage of. He actually told the interviewer that “it was easy.” He managed to bounce around to troops in California and British Columbia over nearly two decades.

Turley said one call to police by Scouting officials in 1979 “probably would have put a stop to me years and years and years ago.” Instead, he “went back to the Scouts again and again as a leader and offended against the boys,” said Turley, who said he has learned to control his impulses.

“That person who was Rick Turley was a monster,” he said.

Turley is now 58. Maybe he can control his impulses, maybe not. But I wouldn’t leave him alone with a little boy.

It looks like this could blow up into a huge scandal. I hope the press can get their hands on those files.