Reporting Mike Hellgren
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — A former high-profile Maryland congressman was part of the Boy Scouts’ “perversion files,” the once-secret documents on people the Scouts believed were threats to children.
Mike Hellgren has a look inside the former lawmaker’s file–and why it was kept.
Among the boxes and boxes of what are known as the Boy Scouts’ “perversion files” is Portfolio #1521, former Maryland Congressman Bob Bauman.
“Today there exist more than 6,000 files and the rate at which they are opened up continues to be on average one every other day,” said victims’ rights attorney Tim Kosnoff.
Bauman used to represent Maryland’s Eastern Shore and was one of the most conservative members of Congress. He’s been out of politics since the early 1980s, when his world came crashing down around him.
A federal investigation led to a charge that he solicited a 16-year-old male prostitute. It was dropped in a plea deal. Bauman came out publicly as gay and wrote a book about his scandal.
His “perversion file” from that era contains news clippings of his case but little else. It notes Bauman had little involvement in the Scouts.
The former Congressman did not return our calls for comment but told WJZ’s media partner, The Baltimore Sun, he was astounded the Boy Scouts kept a file on him and does not remember having any major connection to the organization.
The Scouts never accused Bauman of any impropriety.
The “perversion files” do contain at least 90 allegations of abuse in Maryland. The largest number of cases–16–are from Baltimore.
“We have to remember that was a different time. I’m not going to defend what happened then to the extent we fell short of protecting a youth and we fell short, we are profoundly sorry,” said Wayne Perry, national president of the Boy Scouts of America.
As for Bauman, he told the Sun he did not like having his old “dirty laundry” brought up again because of what he called the “mess” involving the Scouts.
The Scouts have faced criticism from victims of abuse for keeping the files secret, saying the policy did not protect children.