3 Charged With Raping 15-Year-Old

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98,500 children were sexually abused in the US in 1999, the last year for which data is available. As many youth-serving professionals know, abuse, sexual and otherwise, occurs nearly everywhere. Yet, there is a natural inclination to believe abuse won’t happen in our own communities, not to mention our own organization. Awareness of the threat is key, and reinforcing proven abuse prevention strategies is an essential element in protecting the kids in our programs. Both are the goals for our “Abuse Alert” program. Each is a brief treatment of the topic, focusing on one real, recent, public event…reprinting the article about the event in its entirety (omitting names and identifying references to the YMCA) and providing a few important teaching points for you to share with your staff. As always, if you need additional guidance on this topic, please call us at (800) 463 8546.

“3 Charged With Raping 15-Year-Old”

SMALL SOUTHERN TOWN: 03/2032002 - Two teens and a 20-year-old man were arrested Monday and charged with raping a 15-year-old girl.

The rape happened Saturday on [street name] in [small town], the [County Name] Sheriff's Office said. The three took turns raping the girl, deputies said.

Monday afternoon, deputies arrested [juvenile offender one], 17; [juvenile offender two], 15; and [adult offender] at [name] High School in northwest [city].

[Juvenile offender one], [home address], and [juvenile offender two], [home address] were taken to the juvenile assessment center. [Adult offender] was being held at the [name] Jail late Tuesday with bail set at $25,000.

[Adult offender] works as a counselor in a YMCA after-school program at [school name], said [YMCA representative]. He has been suspended.

What we don’t know:

  • whether there was any contact between the offenders and the victim that relates to the YMCA
  • whether there is any past history of improper sexual conduct by the YMCA employee or either of the juvenile offenders
  • whether the offender’s application, background check, reference check, interview, or subsequent work history or employee interactions revealed any red flags or questionable areas that might have warned of possible deviant behavior

What we do know:

  • the YMCA has an employee charged with terrible crime
  • the YMCA has taken appropriate action to suspend the employee because of his recent incarceration and the allegations accompanying it

What an organization should do if faced with a similar situation:

  • Remember that the employee is presumed innocent until proven guilty
  • Develop a corporate public response that
    • specifically decries such behavior yet specifically does not assume the individual’s guilt
    • documents any suspension of the individual pending determination of facts
    • emphasizes the organization's care and concern for any victim
  • Direct employees to not make discuss or make comments regarding the individual or the incident to members or the press
  • Even though this alleged crime is “outside” of the YMCA, it raises a conspicuous “red flag.”
    • The organization should immediately conduct an internal investigation of this staff member and his interactions while employed at the facility.
    • His personnel file should be reviewed to verify that all hiring protocols (application, references, background checks, etc.) were completed.
    • Staff (and, if appropriate, members) should be interviewed to ensure that there are no possible allegations of inappropriate conduct while working at the facility.
    • If any deviation from organizationhiring or behavioral protocols is discovered, internal corrective action should be taken.

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