Boy Scouts of America Accused of Ignoring Sex Abuse by Troop Leaders

Law enforcement also investigated the allegations, arresting and then placing Dykes on probation that prohibited him from having contact with children and requiring him to complete mental health counseling, which he never did, according to the court documents. Despite this, the court documents allege, the Boy Scouts of America never disclosed to the parents that Dykes was a "sexual danger to boys."

Problems with Dykes, now 53, persisted, according to court documents, when in 1985 he was arrested and convicted of two counts of sexual abuse of other boys. Most of them were Scouts. But according to court documents, Dykes was released in 1988 and continued to abuse boys while working with them, some of whom are current plaintiffs.

Dykes was eventually sentenced in 1994 to 18 years in prison after he was found guilty in another multi-child, molestation case. Most of them were Scouts. He was released in 2005 and lives as a registered sex offender in Oregon.

Kelly Clark, the lawyer for the plaintiffs, as well as Devon Smith, a spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America, declined to comment until after the jury rules in the case.

Boy Scouts of America Say They Protected Children from Abuse

But testimony on the stand has revealed a glimpse into the thinking of Boy Scouts of America officials, who have said that they were trying to protect the young boys from pedophiles.

Grant Robinson, a retired Boy Scouts of America executive, testified last week that the organization was aware of the issue of child abuse, according to the Associated Press.

"From the time I was hired, we were informed there was the potential of pedophiles coming into our organization," Robinson said. "We were very sensitive to the issue."

But Eugene Grant, the president of the scout chapter where Dykes was employed, has pointed fingers at the Scouts' parents, testifying that they should have known better than to allow their children to spend a night with an older man.

His parents should have known better," Grant said, according to the AP, referring to the sleepover Dykes allegedly had with scout members at his apartment to learn more about scouting.

"I just find it almost incomprehensible to think their children were going to be safe in that type of environment," Grant said.

But the Boy Scouts of America made its name by convincing parents and children to trust their leadership, said author Boyle, who says the defense in this case is contradictory.

"In one way, Grant is right, it is true that you shouldn't be sending your kids out to spend a night with a guy you don't know," Boyle said. "But the irony of that statement is that the reason the kids were allowed to go is because their parents trusted the Boy Scouts of America.

"Now, when the parents do trust them, the Boy Scouts of America say, 'Oh, you shouldn't have trusted us,'" he said.

But even Boyle, who says that the vast majority of the complaints the organization receives concern sexual abuse, said this trial will be an uphill battle for the plaintiffs.

"The Scouts have a century of goodwill built up, people don't hold the Scouts in contempt," he said. "The public in the past has given the Scouts a lot of room and benefit of the doubt, not too many people hate the Scouts."

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