In other cases, and in a manner that shadowed cases across the nation, the Oklahoma files also showed evidence of local authorities seeking to shield the Boy Scouts from negative publicity.
In a 1974 case from Lawton, a local Scout executive sought to have a Scout leader included in the confidential files after he was charged with lewd molestation involving a 12-year-old boy.
The executive said he'd met with local media officials and that the matter was “being handled discreetly.”
The suspect, who was “considered one of the foremost Scoutmasters” in the Lawton area was later acquitted of the charges.
In a 1979 case in Eufaula, a Scout leader was accused of sexually abusing several boys. He later admitted to some of the abuse. A father sought criminal charges against the leader, but the prosecutor deferred pending a mental evaluation, according to the files. There's no indication in the file that a criminal case was ever pursued.
Boy Scout officials acknowledge that law enforcement was not involved in about a third of the cases nationwide.
The organization is now reviewing those cases to determine whether reason still exists to alert law enforcement.
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