A British Columbia man whose scout leader molested him is furious that Scouts Canada won't tell the public how many of its leaders have sexually abused former scouts like himself.

"I'd like to see the stats on how many victims in Canada there are due to the Boy Scouts," says the 52-year-old man, whose identity is protected by a publication ban.

An investigation by CBC-TV’s The Fifth Estate found that since the 1950s, more than 300 children have been abused by scout leaders active in the Canadian movement.

The investigative program unearthed proof that for decades Scouts Canada kept what they called a "confidential list" of pedophiles barred from its ranks, in an effort to prevent them from re-entering other troops.

The youth organization says it records the names of suspended or terminated volunteer leaders, but says it doesn’t keep "secret lists" or "secret files."

Scouts Canada stresses that under current policy, it suspends individuals immediately upon hearing a complaint, then reports it to the police. "That is true now and, as far as we can determine, that is true of years past," Scouts Canada spokesman John Petitti said in an email.

Roper's crimes

The former B.C. scout says the organization didn’t do enough to protect him when he was being molested by his scout leader, John Roper, for over five years in the 1970s. Roper had already molested another boy scout in Burlington, Ont., nearly a decade earlier.  

Halton, Ont., police would later describe his assaults as a "carbon copy" of each other. 

"I still feel so ripped off," the B.C. man says. "It wasn’t right. We should have been protected."

Roper, a British-born former civil servant, joined the scouting movement after moving to Canada in the 1950s. He admitted to having sexual relations with boys until 1985, at which time he says he began abstaining from sex.

In 1997, Roper was convicted for sexually abusing the scout in B.C. He received a conditional sentence.

Five years later, the former Ontario scout came forward about the earlier offences, leading to other charges that left Roper behind bars.

‘Let us down’

The B.C. man questions how the Scouts didn’t clue into the sexual assaults.

'They didn’t pay. They didn’t say they were sorry.'—Unidentified B.C. man

"They’re dealing with the safety of children," he said. "They should know something about what was going on. And I think they let us down."

His abuse began in 1970, at the age of nine. It happened numerous times over the next five years, often on scouting trips and sleepovers, and only stopped when the boy’s family moved.

The B.C. man recalls a time when the two made snowshoes from coat hangars and rope, then hiked at a nearby mountain to test the makeshift snowshoes out. When the scout became ill, Roper put him in a bed at a lodge to rest.

"I fell asleep ‘cause I was running a fever and I felt sick," the man said. "And I woke up and guess who’s there, doing things."

The B.C. sex-abuse victim sued Roper, forcing him to sell his east Vancouver house, which stood next to an elementary school.

He filed a lawsuit in 1997 against the Boy Scouts of Canada, alleging the group bore some responsibility for the sex abuse, but later dropped the civil suit. The organization denied all the allegations made in the lawsuit.

"They didn’t pay. They didn’t say they were sorry," said the man. "They just covered their ass and ran."

Scouts Canada has refused to comment on specific cases.

If you have more information on this story, or other investigative tips, please email investigations@cbc.ca.