There are three cases of possible sexual abuse in Smyrna, among a total of 97 cases in Georgia, by Boy Scout troop leaders and volunteers listed in the organization's sexual abuse files released Thursday to the public.
The files, known as "perversion files" or "ineligible volunteer files", had been kept confidential for decades, until attorneys representing two abuse victims in Oregon demanded they be made public as part of a $18.5 million settlement in 2010.
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) fought the release until the Oregon Supreme Court ruled against it. The files released this week cover the years 1965-1985, and an expanded list of around 5,000 case files, kept between 1947 and 2005, has been compiled in a database by the Los Angeles Times.
Forty-four metro Atlanta area scout leaders are included in the LA Times database, associated with scout troops in Smyrna, Kennesaw, Woodstock, Stone Mountain, Lithonia, Conyers, Douglasville and Decatur.
According to the database, the total number of suspected men outed by the files is more than 1,000, and the number of boys molested is over 4,000.
These men were not reported to authorities, but kept in a file to prevent them from volunteering with the organization again. Some, however, continued in the roles.
In some cases, the names of individuals are stated. But most files, including two of the three Smyrna individuals, are identified only by a number.
The only named man from Smyrna, Mike L. Barrett, pleaded guilty in October, 1973, to five counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and was sentenced by Newton County Court to five years—one served in jail with four years probation.
The troops these three Smyrna individuals were associated with, and the years the files were created, are listed as follows:
- 1973 -- Barrett, Mike L., Troop Number 732;
- 1989 -- ID #282, Troop Number 61;
- 1998 -- ID #4792, Troop Number 11.
A Portland attorney, who won a major case against the Boy Scouts on behalf of a plaintiff molested by an assistant scoutmaster in the 1980s, released the documents on his website. The files cover a 20-year period, from 1965 to 1985.
Former Cobb District Attorney Tom Charron told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that prosecuting cases would prove to be difficult, largely because of the statute of limitations.