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Boy Scouts Slow to Respond to Abuse Allegations

Members of the Boy Scouts of America participate in the 121st Annual Tournament of Roses parade on Jan. 1, 2010 in Pasadena, Calif. (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)You may have seen the headlines recently about how a jury in Portland, Ore., ordered the Boy Scouts of America to pay $18.5 million to a victim of sexual abuse -- in part to spur the organization to change its ways. A series of stories in The Oregonian paints a picture of how the Boy Scouts have been slow to respond to allegations of sexual abuse for decades.

In at least one instance uncovered by the paper, a convicted abuser remained as a scout leader for months before being banned. Scout volunteers weren't subject to background checks until 2003, and a training program to help prevent abuse isn't mandatory.

In its two-part series, the paper also reports that the Boy Scouts have a record of everyone the group has banned from interacting with children, yet the file has never been reviewed by the public. Even researchers' requests to examine the files in search of trends that could improve the organization have gone unheeded.

This story is part of our ongoing roundup of investigations from other news outlets. For more, visit our Investigations Elsewhere page.

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