Boy Scout files indicate abuse in Middle Tennessee - WSMV Channel 4

Boy Scout files indicate abuse in Middle Tennessee

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

For years, the Boy Scouts of America kept more than 1,000 files on suspected child molesters secret.

Known as the "perversion files," some of the records date back to the 1960s.

On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the organization to make them public, which included several victims abused in Middle Tennessee.

In Murfreesboro in 1976, a young boy said he was fondled by his scoutmaster on three separate occasions. The child would cry and beg his parents not to make him spend the night with the scoutmaster.

Eventually, the scoutmaster was kicked out of the organization, but the Boy Scouts of America kept the case confidential.

The recently released files also said that several other victims were abused by scoutmasters in Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, Smyrna, Oak Ridge and Kingston Springs, TN.

"When I see something like this, I immediately worry what are we missing. And are the numbers more significant than we know?" said Lisa Dupree, a social worker with General Hospital's Our Kids outpatient clinic.

Dupree said abuse cover-up is nothing new, but needs to change.

"It started with the Catholic Church, and then we saw the Penn State situation and now with the Boy Scouts," said Dupree. "As long as we have these organizations that are just shrouded in secrecy when these allegations arise, it's going to be hard (to prevent)," said Dupree.

Dupree hopes this latest scandal will help them better serve children in the midstate.

"I think the advantage, if there is an advantage for us, is that Tennessee can more effectively target where we put our training efforts," said Dupree.

She also worries this is an indication there are more victims out there.

"If you have been a victim of child sexual abuse, it is not your shame," said Dupree.

The national chapter of the Boy Scouts of America released a statement Friday that said these files were designed to prevent child abuse. They said they kept them confidential to encourage increased reporting. They also extended apologies to the victims and their families.

Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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