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Scouts to turn over files in Calif. sex abuse case

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- A judge has ordered the Boy Scouts of America to hand over all confidential files detailing allegations of sexual abuse by Scout leaders nationwide.

According to The Los Angeles Times, a Santa Barbara judge overseeing a lawsuit brought by the family of a California boy molested by his troop leader said the Irving, Texas-based organization must turn over the most recent 20 years' worth of records by Feb. 24.

Known as "ineligible volunteer files," the documents are intended to keep those accused of misconduct out of the Scouts.

Scout officials dispute that the files have been used to conceal abuse.

"These files exist solely to keep out individuals whose actions are inconsistent with the standards of Scouting, and Scouts are safer because of them," Deron Smith, public relations director of Boy Scouts of America, told the Times.

The trial is scheduled for April, nearly five years after the boy, then 13, was molested by volunteer troop leader Al Stein in Santa Barbara County. Stein pleaded no contest in 2009 and is in prison.

The mother of teen says her child suffers to this day.

"Stein used his 450 pounds to pin the boy with sufficient force to cause bruising, ripped the boy's pants down to the point the boy suffered a laceration at his belt line, and then fondled the boy's genitals while commenting on them," according to the lawsuit.

When the boy told his mother about the abuse, she called the Scouts. She told the Times she called the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department after a local Scouts executive told her to not call police.

"He said that wasn't necessary, because the Scouts do their own internal investigation," the mother told the Times. Her name is being withheld to protect her son's identity. "I thought that was really weird.... I thought it was really important to call the sheriff right away."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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