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“My review of these files indicates that the reported rate of sexual abuse in Scouting has been very low,” Warren wrote in the report.

Warren compared the rate of victimization in the Scouts — about 1.4 to 2.1 youth per 100,000 — to the nationally-reported incidence of child abuse by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which found that in 1980, 70 per 100,000 children experience sexual exploitation each year.

Warren’s analysis didn’t account for the fact that files were destroyed for offenders who died or turned 75 years old, something she said didn’t affect her overall conclusions.

Critics contend the organization’s legal battles reflect a long-standing effort to protect the Boy Scouts’ reputation, and to try to limit any lawsuits.

“It’s a culture of denial and concealment,” said Timothy Kosnoff, a Seattle attorney who in 2006 obtained documents on 5,200 alleged pedophiles who went into the files from 1949-2005.