Charges of Assault, Child Rape Leveled Against [Small Town] Man

Download

98,500 children were sexually abused in the US in 1999, the last year for which data is available. As many JCC 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 JCC. 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 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.


“CHARGES OF ASSAULT, CHILD RAPE LEVELED AGAINST [SMALL TOWN] MAN”

MAJOR NORTHEASTERN CITY – 03/29/2002: A maintenance supervisor for the YMCA in [small town] pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges of statutory rape and indecent assault and battery involving two young children, authorities said.

[Alleged predator], 58, of [small town], was arraigned yesterday at [small town] District Court on one count of rape, one count of indecent assault and battery on a minor under the age of 14, and possession of child pornography. The alleged rape victim is 7, while the alleged victim of indecent assault and battery is 9, said [DA representative], spokesman for the [county] district attorney's office.

Police found files of pornography involving children as young as 6 and 7 when they seized [alleged predator]'s computer, [DA representative] said.

Judge [name] ordered [alleged predator] held on $50,000 cash bail. If bail is posted, the judge said, [alleged predator] may not come into contact with anyone under age 18 without the presence of the minor's parent or guardian, said [DA representative].

According to [small town] police Detective [name], none of the alleged incidents occurred at the YMCA where [alleged predator] was employed as maintenance supervisor. [name], chief executive of the [association name] YMCA, said yesterday [alleged predator] was fired 30 minutes after his arrest at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

[YMCA CEO] said [alleged predator] was initially employed as a custodian and was promoted in December 2000. [Alleged predator]'s background had been investigated and he was cleared for employment at a YMCA facility, he said.

“The YMCA wholeheartedly condemns any adult crime against children,” [YMCA CEO] said. “The alleged victim and his or her family are in our thoughts.”

[Alleged predator] is due back in court for a pretrial hearing on April 18.


What we don’t know:

  • whether the children frequented or had even visited the YMCA where the alleged predator worked
  • if the children been at that YMCA, whether they had any contact with the alleged predator
  • if the children did not have contact with the alleged predator, whether he targeted them from observations there without actual contact

What we do know:

  • none of the alleged incidents reportedly occurred at the YMCA
    • While that is good, at this point it is relatively meaningless. The alleged predator’s job allowed great mobility, had little direct supervision, and probably had an isolated office site.
  • the YMCA terminated an employee on the basis of an allegation, not an admission or conviction
    • Protecting children is vital, and exercising care is prudent, but suspension would have been wiser than termination. Since the accused declared innocence, he should be so assumed until proven guilty. Please refer to the suggestion actions provided in 3 Charged With Raping 15-Year-Old.
  • the YMCA had run a background check of the alleged pedophile and cleared him for hire
    • Their statement is good, if possibly a little defensive. Unanswered are: How thorough was it? Is there a written, signed application? Were all references called and documented? Did they include at least one close family member? Were interview questions relating to abuse hypothetical or behavioral? Was it documented? Was verification made of all past addresses? Did the criminal background check cover all listed-address states?

What we can do to protect ourselves:

  • monitor all who enter our buildings; investigate all who are regularly in them
    • Everyone in our facilities has access to our kids, be they staff, volunteers, contractors, vendors, or guests. Picture identification should be used visibly displayed by all staff and volunteers. Temporary passes should be issued to all contractors, vendors, and guests.
  • have protocols in place that ensure adequate supervision of children in our facilities
    • Most JCCs say “all kids are supervised at all times,” but is it really true? What about the kids dropped off to go swimming, or to play basketball? Are they monitored in the locker room, or in the halls as they pass between areas of the building? Are children allowed to use saunas without an accompanying parent or guardian? We need supervision of kids in the gym, in the halls, in the locker rooms, ore wherever the kids are. If we have budgetary restraints we can limit the times kids can be on-site and/or the places they can go without a parent or guardian. Walkie-talkies could be used with older children to give a heads-up to staff at the destination end when they leave an area instead of having to accompany them

Please call us at 800-463-8546 to discuss this or any other risk management safety tip, or visit our web site at www.redwoodsgroup.com to learn more about JCC risk management issues.

Comments 

Submit a comment