Boy Scouts Knew About Calvin Malone’s Criminal Past and Re-Hired Him Anyway

When the Cascade Pacific Council of the Boy Scouts of American hired Calvin Malone in 1974, the Council knew Malone had been accused of child sexual abuse in 1970.  The 1970 allegations against Malone were serious enough that the national office of the Boy Scouts of America opened a file on Malone – a file that should have ended his involvement in Scouting for good.

Nothing in BSA’s file on Malone indicates that BSA reported the 1970 incident to law enforcement.

Instead, Malone went to work as a “professional Scouter” for the Cascade Pacific Council in Portland in 1974.  Three men filed a lawsuit this week in Portland alleging that Malone sexually abused them when they were Boy Scouts in 1974 and 1975.

Malone was fired from Cascade Pacific Council in 1975 for stealing Scout funds. This theft is also documented in BSA’s file on Malone and should have also ended his involvement in Scouting forever. Nothing in the file indicates that BSA reported this crime to law enforcement.

Instead, Malone went on to volunteer with the Boy Scouts in Montana. The Boy Scouts allowed Malone to rejoin Scouting as a volunteer in Montana, using his real name. The screening process BSA’s files are supposed to provide completely failed. Four men allegedly abused by Malone when he was a Scout leader in Montana filed a lawsuit in 2014 against the Boy Scouts and the Montana Council.

Malone was convicted of rape and child molestation in 1993 and is being held in a special detention facility for sex offenders in the state of Washington.

The Boy Scouts internal files are known as Ineligible Volunteer Files or Perversion Files. The file on Malone demonstrates that BSA and Cascade Pacific Council knew about the 1970 abuse accusations in California. Paul Ernst, one of the national leaders of the Boy Scouts, wrote a letter to the Cascade Pacific Council in July 1974 stating that Malone was in BSA’s “confidential files,” meaning he was “ineligible” to participate in Scouting, most likely because he had been accused of child molestation, since the “Perversion” category contained the most files.

The Calvin Malone case is a shocking but sadly typical example of sex abuse in the Boy Scouts. It shows how BSA ignored criminal facts about a Scout leader who was a clear and present danger to youth, instead allowing this dangerous man to serve in a supervisory position where he had free access to trusting children.

The file also shows that the BSA had no system in place for kids or troop-level volunteers to report child molesters (or any kinds of rule violations) to higher levels in Scouting.

If the Boy Scouts had acted prudently based on the evidence concerning Calvin Malone, it is reasonable to believe that so many boys in Scouting would not have been abused. Malone was a serial child molester and the Scouts bear responsibility for their role in fostering his relationship with children and allowing the abuse to happen. This is a wrong that should be righted.

Dumas Law Group has law offices in Portland, Oregon and serves clients in Oregon, Washington, California, and other states.

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