LOS ANGELES — A lawsuit brought by a 20-year-old man who was molested by a Boy Scout leader in 2007 could force the organization to reveal 16 years’ worth of “perversion” files documenting sex abuse allegations.

Files that were kept by the Boy Scouts of America between 1960 and 1991 already have been made public through other civil cases.

The release of the more recent files – from 1991 to 2007 – could reveal how much the Boy Scouts have improved their efforts to protect children and report abuse after several high-profile cases.

In 2012, the Oregon Supreme Court ordered the Scouts to make public a trove of files from 1965 to 1985. The records showed that more than a third of abuse allegations never were reported to police and that even when authorities were told, little was done most of the time.

Those documents came to light after a jury in 2010 imposed a nearly $20 million penalty against the Scouts in a molestation case in Portland, Oregon.

Since then, plaintiff attorneys in several states, including Texas and Minnesota, have sought to publicize the more recent records through similar lawsuits. Those cases have been settled before trial, leaving the records sealed.

Now the issue moves to Santa Barbara County, where a judge will hear arguments Friday on whether to admit the documents as evidence. Jury selection is due to begin next week.

In the Santa Barbara case, the lawsuit says, a 29-year-old Scout volunteer, Al Stein, pulled down the pants of a 13-year-old boy and fondled him while the child was working at a Christmas tree lot fundraiser. According to the civil complaint, the boy had bruising and lacerations at his beltline.

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