US scout leaders covered up generations of sexual abuse inflicted on its young members.
US scout leaders covered up generations of sexual abuse inflicted on its young members, victims' lawyers say, as thousands of pages of so-called "perversion files" were published online.
Unveiling details from the 14,500 pages of documents, including handwritten notes, the lawyers said on Thursday Boy Scouts of America (BSA) still had not done enough to root out pedophiles using the youth movement to prey on minors.
In response, the US scouting body's head apologised to victims, and admitted that its response had in some cases been "plainly insufficient, inappropriate or wrong".
The previously confidential files, officially called the "Boy Scouts Ineligible Volunteer Files", reveal details of alleged abuses by more than 1200 scout leaders and other adults between 1965 and 1985.
They were released in response to an order by the Oregon Supreme Court.
"What these files represent is ... the pain and the anguish of thousands" of scouts, said lawyer Paul Mones, while presenting details of the files at a press conference in the northwestern US state.
The lawyers highlighted a 2010 court case, in which an assistant scoutmaster in a Mormon Church-sponsored troop sexually molested a boy in the 1980s.
The abuser involved had previously confessed to molesting 17 other boys in the troop, but was allowed to return to scouting within a few months and then found a new victim.
Responding to the release, Boy Scouts of America national leader Wayne Perry reiterated an apology to the victims.
In a statement on its website, the organisation also said it has improved its procedures to ensure safety, including now requiring background checks and training programs of its leaders.
Although the US scouting organisation, which counts nearly four million adult and youth members, has long sought to keep the files out of public view, it could face a damning wave of lawsuits and bad publicity.
The organisation, founded in 1910, is best-known for promoting outdoor activities and community service for boys aged seven to 21.