A California judge has ruled that 16 years of previously unseen Boy Scout "perversion" files containing allegations of sex abuse within the organization can be used as evidence in a molestation case this month.

Friday's tentative ruling by Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Donna D. Geck could be the first step to eventually making the files public. A written order is expected next week.

Scout files from 1960 to 1991 have already been made public through other court cases.

But plaintiff's attorney Tim Hale hopes to use files from 1991 to 2007 as evidence in a trial set later this month in Santa Barbara.

Former Boy Scout volunteer Al Stein pleaded no contest to felony child endangerment in a case involving a 13-year-old boy in 2007.