Jury finds Boy Scouts of America could have done more to prevent sexual abuse

Oregon - (NBC) - An Oregon jury has found the Boy Scouts of America should have done more to protect against child sexual abuse within its organization.

The decision came Tuesday at the end of a three week trial.

Evidence included secret memos the Scouts dubbed, "perversion files," documentation of thousands of alleged child molesters the organization had hoped to track and keep out of scouting.

"What they were hoping for is whatever everybody hoped for especially in the 70s and 80s, which was get the molester to go away and hope nobody talks about it," explains Scout's Honor author Patrick Boyle.

But Kerry Lewis, abused by a former Scout leader, did talk about it and filed a lawsuit arguing the organization was reckless.

An attorney representing the Scouts organization denied negligence, saying the group relied on local leaders and volunteers to take action because they, not the national organization, were supervising the boys.

In addition to the negligence finding the jury awarded $1.4 million to Lewis.

The jury also decided the organization is liable for punitive damages to be decided in a separate trial.

The Boy Scouts had fought to keep the "perversion files" confidential,  but in February the Oregon Supreme Court approved the release of more than 1,000 files kept on alleged pedophiles from 1965 to mid 1984 to be used in the Portland trial.

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