At least three York County Boy Scout leaders are among the 5,000 people listed on a previously confidential record of Scouts who sexually abused or were accused of sexually abusing children.
Included in the Boy Scouts so-called "perversion files" from 1947-2005 is the 1977 case of a York County Scout leader accused of giving marijuana and alcohol to Scouts.
The case documents include a reference to "unsubstantiated charges" of "homosexual child molestation."
The man's name was eventually added to the national Scout organization's "confidential file" of ineligible leaders, according to documents newly uploaded to a Los Angeles Times database.
In a 1985 case, a Mechanicsburg man was asked to resign his post as a York County Scout leader after being accused of serving beer and showing pornographic films to boys. Some incidents allegedly led to sexual activity between the man and boys.
The York County Children and Youth Services office and the York County District Attorney's office were made aware of the case, according to newly released documents.
And, in a third case, a York man was accused of molesting a couple of boys during a camping trip in 1983.
It is not clear if any of the local allegations led to charges or prosecutions.
The list represents almost 60 years of files the Boy Scouts kept. It was released by a Seattle attorney who gathered the information over years of representing more than 100 children who stepped forward with allegations of abuse.
Attorney Tim Kosnoff precedes his web-based release of the database with an explanation that the "information is being provided in the interests of public safety and education." He included his own notes, elaborating about the York cases and others.
Kosnoff said the accused man in 1983, whose troop number was illegible in the original files, re-registered with a different post in September 1984, the same year he also married a district executive. The prior sex abuse allegations came out and, in 1988, "it was requested that his suspension be delayed."
The delay was requested because the alleged incident occurred four years prior and the leader was married to "an apparently disgruntled" Scout employee.
The response: Ronald M. Gardner Jr., Scout executive & CEO of the New Birth of Freedom Council, which includes the York area, referred inquiries about the files to the national organization.
The national organization did not return a request for comment specific to the York allegations.
The files were released this week after two years of litigation, ending in a court order to make the documents public.
Scouts have pledged to go back into the files and report any offenders who may not have been reported to the police when alleged abuse took place, potentially prompting a new round of criminal prosecutions for offenders who have so far escaped justice, according to The Associated Press.
It is not clear whether the York cases are among them.
Preventing abuse: Gardner said he's proud of the youth protection standards the organization has in effect, saying they have been continuously strengthened and expanded.
An adult who wants to volunteer to be a leader must provide local references, which are checked, and undergo a "very comprehensive" national background check, he said.
"We'll see things on there like a disorderly conduct (charge issued) while he was in the military 30 years ago."
The names are also checked against the "ineligible volunteer files," the internal database being made public.
Every adult volunteer is mandated to take an online course on youth protection to learn about, detect and prevent abuse, Gardner said.
There are also several internal policies intended to prevent abuse, such as a rule stating a minimum of two adults must go on any scouting activity, and a Scout can't stay in the same tent with an unrelated person.
Rules are also in place to guard privacy in restroom and showering activities, he said.
"The policies have become part of the culture," Gardner said.
A child's first handbook includes a section that must be completed with a parent, dealing with child abuse and how to report it, he said.
All leaders are "mandated reporters," meaning they must report suspected child abuse, and leaders are immediately suspended until an investigation is completed, he said.
- Staff writer Erin James contributed to this story. Reach Christina Kauffman at firstname.lastname@example.org.