Documents could shed new light on abuse of Boy Scouts as MN trial opens

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A lawsuit headed for trial in a St. Paul courtroom Monday will shine a spotlight on sexual abuse of Boy Scouts by adult volunteers in the organization.

Attorney Jeffrey Anderson says the case will include the release of previously confidential files kept by the Boy Scouts of America. Anderson tells the Associated Press the documents will show the Scouts knew sexual abuse was a problem but failed to prevent it.

Anderson represents a man whose former scoutmaster, Peter Stibal II, is serving a 21 year prison term for molesting four scouts. Last month Ramsey County Judge Elena Ostby rejected the Boy Scouts' request that the lawsuit be thrown out.

Anderson tells the AP he expects the Scouts will try again Monday to block the document release. The Boy Scouts did not grant an interview to the AP but have argued in the past that keeping the files private makes people more likely to report abuse.

When Judge Ostby ordered in January that the files should be released, she said identifying information should be blacked out.

The documents in question cover a period from 1999-2008, making them much more current than a previous batch of documents released as part of an Oregon lawsuit against the Scouts. Those documents date from 1965 to 1985.

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