NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Attorneys are calling for more victims to come forward after it’s discovered that child sex abuse within the Boy Scouts of America is much more widespread than originally thought. The Perversion Files, which were published in 2012, were recently re-analyzed by an expert, and one victim said the Boy Scouts of America are anything but transparent.
One of the first things a Boy Scout will learn is the oath or promise. It reads, in part, “to help other people at all times.”
Richard Windmann said the scouts did anything but.
“They hung us out to dry and took these pedophiles and put them on the street and didn’t tell anyone about it. That’s despicable,” Windmann said.
In the 1970s, New Orleans police found the infamous Boy Scout Troop 137 was running a child pedophile ring, and Windmann said he was one of those victims. He said he was recruited when Troop 137 started canvassing neighborhoods. Windmann remembers how strange it was that he skipped Cub Scouts and went straight to a Boy Scout.
“I took it I was special, I was advanced…I had a Boy Scouts uniform, and I was so young and not supposed to do that. The shirt pockets rested right above my belt. I looked ridiculous,” Windmann said.
Soon after, he said the nighttime trips began.
“That’s where I was first molested at Tom Woodall’s house by Harry Cramer, and it went on for years. They would literally fly in from out of town. It was a huge pedophile network. The Boy Scouts was just a front for network pedophiles,” Windmann said.
Tom and Raymond Woodall’s names, Harry Cramer’s name and Richard Stanley Halvorsen’s names all appear on the 2012 list made public by the Boy Scouts of America. But according to new court testimony out of New York and New Jersey, more scout leaders than previously known publicly were involved in sexually abusing children: A total of 7,800 leaders and an estimated 12,000 victims dating back to the 1940s.
For years, Windmann said he’s worked to gain closure.
“You have a case that’s so well documented like (Troop) 137, you’d think the Boy Scouts would reach out to these families and these kids for counseling, and they haven’t done that,” Windmann said.
Windmann said he has worked to overcome his demons and still wants counseling and to hear from the Boy Scouts of America. But he said he fears there are more pedophiles on the street because of this, and now’s the time to demand transparency.
“They’ve been secretive and non-responsive, and to me, that’s criminal,” Windmann said.
The Boy Scouts of America have said they have paid for unlimited counseling for victims, saying in a statement: “Throughout our history, we have enacted strong youth protection policies to prevent future abuse... At no time have we ever knowingly allowed a perpetrator to work with youth.”
The local Southeast Louisiana chapter has yet to respond to request for comment regarding this story.