For background, the “Perversion Files” are a subcategory of BSA’s Ineligible Volunteer Files — secret files kept at BSA’s national headquarters starting shortly after BSA’s founding in 1919. Each perversion file documents information about an individual scout leader, most of whom were suspected of sexually abusing boys. By 1935, over 1,000 men had been kicked out of Scouting for sexually abusing boys. Nevertheless, BSA kept the problem of Scout Leaders sexually abusing boys as quiet as possible and, for decades, failed to implement reasonable policies to protect boys in the local troops.
In 1988, Boy Scout Executives in Irving, Texas finalized their exclusion paperwork for William Ronald “Ron” Daniel Patterson of Eagle Point, Oregon. Patterson had “plead guilty to sexual abuse II” charges arising out of multiple sexual assaults committed July of 1986 against Boy Scouts attending a multi-troop overnight camping function at Camp McLoughlin at Lake of the Woods in Klamath County. Prior to Patterson’s apprehension, he was staff member at the camp and was known for outstanding characteristics that included, in one Scout Executive’s own words, that he “likes young boys.”
Patterson admitted he “went to the area of Troop 40 and 112 and fondled one boy in each [troop] by first sneaking into their tent area, reaching into their sleeping bag and fondling their genital area. He stated each time he left before the person was awake so they would not see who he was.” Upon further interrogation with police and Scout officials, Patterson’s admitted number of victims increased to three and then to “a number of juveniles.”
One victim described feeling “a very cold hand touch his leg and . . . moving up underneath his pants into his genital area. He stated that upon the subject reaching and fondling his genital area he woke up and turned as the suspect was fleeing from the tent.”
Police investigators urged “all of the scout masters that should they determine if one of their children is abused that they should contact the parent of the child immediately and make sure they are aware of it and also take appropriate steps in seeing that is reported [to police].” (Despite thousands of reports of Scout Leaders sexually abusing boys over the previous decades, the Boy Scouts of America did not yet require that all adult volunteers receive child abuse prevention training, nor was there a policy of reporting all suspicions of child sexual abuse to law enforcement.)
In finalizing Patterson’s file, Perversion Files director Paul Ernst noted that the “case has been reviewed with our attorney and is now on our permanent Confidential File.”
Scout Leader Ron Patterson’s Perversion file can be accessed here: William Ron Patterson Perversion File