Two Somerville Names in Boy Scouts' 'Perversion Files'
Records released Thursday show two Somerville men were listed in the Boy Scouts' confidential "perversion files," which barred them from volunteering with the Scouts.
Two Somerville men were, in the late 1960s, listed by the Boy Scouts of America in a confidential file, dubbed the "perversion files," for being connected to allegations of sexual abuse and homosexuality.
The files were released Thursday by order of the Oregon Supreme Court. They were used as evidence in a 2010 lawsuit against the Scouts in a molestation case that resulted in a jury awarding $20 million to a man molested by an assistant scoutmaster in the 1980s.
The files include the names of more than 1,200 people from across the country, including 45 from Massachusetts, whom the Boy Scouts suspected might be child abusers.
Because many of the men listed in the "perversion files" have not been charged or convicted of crimes, some media outlets, including the Boston Globe, have refrained from naming them without further investigating the allegations. Somerville Patch believes that is reasonable precaution.
Troop 15 case
In one case, a man in his mid- to late-20s, who was an assistant scoutmaster, was accused by a woman, in 1967, of engaging in what records describe as "homosexual activities with a Scout or Scouts in Troop 15, Somerville."
The troop appears to have been affiliated with the Elizabeth Peabody House, and according to the documents, the Elizabeth Peabody House, the Boy Scouts' Boston Council and a scout committee conducted an investigation.
In December of 1967, an executive with the Scouts sent a letter to the man, who lived on Webster Street in East Somerville, saying, "in view of current circumstances of you personal behavior, it would be well for you to sever your connections with the Boy Scouts of America."
In January of 1968, the man submitted his resignation to the General Scout Committee at the Elizabeth Peabody House, naming "personal reasons" for the resignation.
In September of 1969, records show the man may have tried to sign up with the Scouts in Somerville again. A letter to the national office of the Boy Scouts says, "A parent of one of the boys in the troop has raised a few questions which I feel deserve to be checked at National."
"Quiet, short, wears glasses"
The other case, from 1968, involves a 20-year-old man whose address was at 33 Melvin St. in Winter Hill. The "perversion files" documents describe him as "quiet, short, wears glasses."
According to the records, he was a high school dropout who was sent to the Lyman Home for Boys at the age of 13. He then spent five years in Bridgewater Home due to "homosexual activities" and "unnatural sex acts."
He spent three months in the Army at the age of 19, was given a medical discharge, and then went to the Kilmer Job Corps Center, in Edison, N.J. The Kilmer Job Corps Center appears to have been part of a national program to help transform unemployed dropouts into "productive citizens."
He spent one month at Kilmer, then he was terminated from the program "due to unnatural sex behavior with other Corpsmen." He was sent to be an outpatient in a clinic in Boston.
Perhaps the clinic was at 33 Melvin St.