103,600 children were sexually abused in the US in 1998, the last year for which data is available. As many YMCA 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 YMCA. 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, focussing on one real, recent, public event… reprinting the article about the event in its entirety (omitting only direct references to the individual 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.
The following information was on the Associated Press Newswire, Friday, November 23, 2001: Assemblyman's aide accused of molesting 12-year-old boy
“[major western city] (AP) - An arrest warrant has been issued for a 61-year-old assemblyman's aide who allegedly molested a 12-year-old boy.
Howard L. Brooks of Quartz Hill was still outstanding late Thursday but is expected to surrender as early as Friday, law enforcement authorities said.
The Antelope Valley businessman has been a field representative since spring for Assemblyman Phil Wyman, R-Tehachapi. Messages left for Wyman at his state capitol and Tehachapi offices late Thursday were not returned.
Brooks is accused of committing lewd acts on a child, continuous sexual abuse, and possession of child pornography, said county prosecutor Rouman Ebrahim. The abuse allegedly occurred between March and November 2000.
A telephone listing for a Howard Brooks in Quartz Hill had a recording saying the number had been disconnected. There were no other listings.
The [major western] County Sheriff's Department Family Crimes Bureau began investigating Brooks after he allegedly sent a sexually explicit letter to an inmate at California State Prison in Sacramento, the prosecutor said.
“It talked about sexual conduct with young boys,“ prosecutor Ebrahim said, adding that the "pen-pal type” letter was intercepted by prison officials.
Authorities believe there may be more victims and are extending their investigation to include boys who belonged to the [Name] YMCA, where Brooks served as director during the 1980s.
The warrant was issued Tuesday.”
What this article teaches us:
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