Friday, October 19, 2012 at 9:22 a.m.
For two decades, Boy Scouts of America leaders kept exhaustive, secret lists of men banned from volunteering, mostly because they'd been caught molesting boys. Many of the thousands of men in the so-called "Perversion Files" were never charged with a crime, as the Scouts fought to keep the records private and never reported many of the crimes.
Well, the files are all public today
thanks to a lawsuit in Oregon. And they show more than 160 Florida men who were caught or accused of molesting boys, including almost a dozen in Miami.
The files, which the Scouts kept between 1965 and 1985, included 14,500 pages of records on adults accused of improper sexual behavior. For decades, the Scouts zealously guarded the information, but a judge in Oregon ordered the whole shebang released this week.
In general, they show that the Scouts did their best to ban predatory volunteers from preying on Scouts -- but also routinely kept accusations from police so they could handle the crimes internally.
Riptide's review of the Miami records reveals most of the men on the list were caught sexually molesting scouts. Most were also charged by police with assaulting the minors.
For example, the file shows the Scouts banned a man named Seth Schuyler in 1970 after he was arrested by North Miami Beach police. Schuyler was criminally charged with molesting a 10-year-old Scout in his troop during a campout.
But as in the national files, there are also locals who were apparently never charged.
That includes a man named Gerald R. Reeves
, who was banned in January 1970 after his landlord -- a local priest -- complained that he caught Reeves showing pornographic films to Scouts in his Miami apartment. Some of the pornography portrayed pre-teen boys, the accuser said. Often, Scouts would be nude in his apartment, and several stayed overnight.
Reeves was banned from volunteering with the Scouts, but if he was ever charged with a crime, it doesn't show up in his file.