East Bay News
Former Boy Scout comes forward to talk about abuse
OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A hidden shame, hidden no more -- a Bay Area victim is coming forward following the release of the names of 1,200 suspected pedophiles by the Boy Scouts.
In 1989, a group of neighborhood boys came together to join the Boy Scouts, excited to explore the outdoors, climbing, horseback riding -- all those things the Boy Scouts are known for. What happened to these scouts should never happen to any scout.
"They attract the worst of the worst as well as they attract some of the best of the best, they also attract some nasty sexualabusers and pedophiles," Mario Juarez said.
In 1989, Juarez, then 12 years old, was a Boy Scout with a terrible secret. He and other scouts were being sexually molested by their scout leader.
They would meet at Mary Help of Christian Church in Oakland. The church had nothing to do with the meetings, merely letting the Scouts use space.
The scoutmaster, Jorge Francisco Paz, was eventually sentenced to 14 years in prison for what he did. Juarez helped put him away.
After a ruling by the Oregon State Supreme Court, 14,000 pages of confidential Boy Scouts of America files became public Thursday. They contain the names of 1,200 suspected pedophiles but do not name those suspected over the past 20 years or so.
That's a good start, but only a start, says Juarez.
"Nationwide, they have over 50,000 documented files of these ineligible files, the pedophile files, so the release of this 5,000 files is a battle that is only the tip of the iceberg," he said.
"And some of the named individuals may very well be suing the Boy Scouts organization for invasion of privacy, for defamation," ABC7 News legal analyst Dean Johnson said.
Juarez, now a candidate for the District Five City Council seat in Oakland helped push for a federal law requiring the Scouts to better protect children and educate them and their families about, among other things, those who join the boy scouts for the wrong reasons.
"There is no question that there are times in the past, and these go back 40-50 years old, where we did not do the job that we should have, and for that and for the people hurt, we are profoundly sorry," Boy Scouts of America President Wayne Perry said.
There are about two dozen Bay Area scout leader on the Boy Souts' perversion list, three of those names also appear on the Megan's Law registry.
east bay news, terry mcsweeney
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