Illinois Sixth-Highest in Number of Cases in Boy Scout “Perversion Files”

Twenty of the cases happened in the city of Chicago but are not recent

Illinois had the sixth-highest number of cases in all the states represented in the thousands of "perversion files" released Thursday by the Boy Scouts of America.

Those documents, released by order of the Oregon Supreme Court, detail how scoutmasters across the country, including in Rockford, DeKalb, Naperville, Evanston and Chicago, protected scoutmasters and others accused of molesting children.

Twenty of the cases happened in the city of Chicago but are not recent. They span 1965 to 1985, and not all of them are cases of alleged sexual abuse.

One of the files references former scoutmaster Gwen "Slinky" Hale, who is currently serving time in a downtown Illinois prison on a 1993 sex assault conviction.

Ten years earlier, attorney Alan Barinholtz filed a $2 million civil lawsuit on behalf of a 13-year-old boy Hale admitted to sexually assaulting in 1979.

"The basis of the lawsuit was the Scouts should never have let this guy be a scoutmaster," Barinholtz explained.

Court records show that years before becoming the boy's scoutmaster, Hale had been convicted of manslaughter.

"The Scouts, they're a good organization [but] they dropped the ball on this one," said Barinholtz.

The Chicago Area Council, which represents 14,000 Scouts, says more safeguards are in place now to better protect boys.

"We take the safety of our youth dead serious," said Scout Executive H. Charles Dobbins.

Barinholtz said that what happened to his client affected him for the rest of his life.

"He was in and out of the penitentiary and it didn't have a very happy ending for him," he said.

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