Score another investigative coup for the LA Times. In partnership with CBC-TV newsmagazine The Fifth Estate, the newspaper on Saturday published a sensational, sickening report about an individual listed in the Boy Scouts of America’s “perversion files,” internal documents that track the presence–dating back to 1922–of an estimated 5,000 suspected sex abusers in the youth organization’s ranks.
The joint report details the abhorrent British Columbia and Southern California actions of Rick Turley (pictured), a 58-year-old Canadian who freely admits to using the cloak of the Boy Scouts to gain “easy” access to young victims on both sides of the border. He claims to have since learned how to curb those deviant impulses. The story by Jason Felch and Kim Christensen is being picked up by everyone from the Associated Press to Guy Adams, LA correspondent for UK’s The Independent. From the Times article:
Scouting officials on both sides of the border not only failed to stop Turley, but sometimes helped cover his tracks, according to confidential Scouting records, court files and interviews with victims, families and Scout leaders. At one point in 1979, Boy Scouts of America officials decided not to call police after Turley admitted molesting three Orange County boys, the organization’s records show.
Expect this story to become a major cable news network talking point, as well as have long-lasting repercussions for an organization that just celebrated its 100th anniversary. Both the American and Canadian sides of the Scouts have provided statements to, respectively, the Times and CBC.