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Boy Scouts agree to mediation with sexual abuse victim

The Boy Scouts of America will not have to meet a Friday deadline to turn over thousands of confidential files to lawyers for a Santa Barbara County sexual abuse victim after both sides agreed to mediate the boy’s lawsuit.

Known as "ineligible volunteer files," the records date to the 1920s and detail allegations of sexual abuse and other misconduct by Scout leaders and others.

The Scouts say the files are intended to keep suspected molesters and others accused of wrongdoing out of Scouting.

Lawyers for the Santa Barbara County boy, who was 13 when a volunteer Scout leader sexually abused him in late 2007, contend the files will expose a "culture of hidden sexual abuse" in the organization and its failure to warn boys, their parents and others about it.

Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Donna Geck rejected the Scouts’ argument that the files are irrelevant to the boy’s lawsuit and in January ordered the organization to turn over the most recent 20 years of records by Friday, with victims’ names removed.

Geck vacated her order this week, pending a March 21 mediation session. She set a new date of May 9 for the Scouts to produce the documents, which are not to be disclosed to the public.

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-- Kim Christensen

 
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