Approximately 87,000 children were sexually abused in the US in 2001, according to the Children’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Human Services. 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 facility. 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, gleaned from the media…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.
“Ex-YMCA coach faces 7 molestation charges”
SMALL NORTHEAST CITY: 08/08/2003 – A former gymnastics coach at the [name] YMCA in [town] has been arrested on charges of child molestation.
Officers in the [name] County Sheriffʼs Department in [a second] state on Thursday arrested [accused molester], 40, on a warrant charging him with seven counts of second-degree child molestation.
[Accused molester], who formerly lived on [name] Street in [city] but whose current address is listed as
[street] in [small town], [second state], was hired at the YMCA in 2001. He was fired last month for violating YMCA rules, and shortly thereafter, members of the gymnastics team reported incidents of touching and other inappropriate conduct, which the YMCA reported to [town] police on July 25.
[Town] Police Chief [name] described second-degree child molestation as “inappropriate touching of a child.” He said the seven charges involve three alleged victims, all girls, ages 9 to 13.
[Police chief] said the investigation, which remains ongoing, is being conducted by [town] Police Detective [name] and Assistant Attorney General [name] of the state attorney generalʼs office.
In addition, assistance has been provided by the Child Advocacy Unit, which assisted in the interviews of the alleged victims.
[Police chief] said that after investigators concluded that [alleged molester] would be charged, a warrant was issued and officers from the [name] County Sheriffʼs Department arrested him Thursday. He is being held without bail pending extradition proceedings to return him to [state] for arraignment on the charges.
This morning, YMCA Executive Director [name] commended the [town] Police Department, particularly [detective], on its work in the case.
“The arrest represents one more important step in the healing process,” he said. Our hearts go out to the girls and families who have been affected.”
[YMCA director] said previously that a background check conducted on [alleged molester] when he was hired in 2001 revealed nothing questionable. The YMCA takes additional steps to provide anti-child abuse training to employees. Every worker attends a Child Abuse Prevention Training Program and signs a code of conduct statement and the topic of child abuse is discussed regularly at staff meetings, [YMCA director] said.
The attorney generalʼs office this morning declined to comment on the investigation.
What we know:
What we don’t know:
What we must remember: