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Sexual Abuse and the YMCA

Sexual Abuse and the YMCA

Lawsuits have been filed against the YMCA for negligently hiring and supervising sexual predators who worked for the youth organization. The YMCA has since acknowledged its failure to implement measures to protect children from sexual abuse.  In some cases, the YMCA was alleged to have continued to provide predators with access to innocent children even though it knew about abusive activity.

YMCA is a worldwide organization focused on youth development.  It employs counselors, teachers, and coaches to interact, supervise and mentor children. Allegations of sexual abuse against YMCA employees go back several decades.  One claimant alleges that he was sexually abused as a child at Camp Seymour, a camp managed by the YMCA in the 1970s.  The lawsuit claims that the YMCA was aware that children were being sexually abused and took no action to stop the abuse or apprehend the abuser.  According to the complaint, the YMCA engaged in egregious conduct by dismissing complaints of sexual abuse by counselors and rehiring suspected molesters. 

In another case against the YMCA, a high school student in Jeffersonville, Indiana was accused of sexually molesting a six year old girl while working as a teacher’s aide at the local YMCA.  The lawsuit alleges that the YMCA failed to monitor the abuser despite previous allegations of sexual abuse against the perpetrator. The abuser was accused of molesting a total of 17 children while working at the Jeffersonville YMCA.

In many cases, predators seek out potential victims in situations where they can be alone with children in unsupervised environments. Child abusers attempt to develop close and trusting relationships with their victims in order to perpetuate the abuse.  Parents assume that these relationships are safe and beneficial for their children.  The institutions that employ these individuals owe a duty of care to the children they oversee.  In cases where abuse results from negligent hiring (such as failing to implement background checks) or negligent monitoring (such as ignoring complaints of inappropriate conduct), an employer or supervisor can be held liable for the actions of its employees or volunteers. 

Many states, including New York, New Jersey and California have revised their statute of limitations for civil sexual abuse claims by increasing the maximum age limit for filing lawsuits and providing a “look-back window” during which the statute of limitations is suspended so all victims can file civil claims no matter when the sexual abuse occurred.  These new laws give victims who were abused as children the opportunity to seek justice for the emotional and psychological harm they suffered.

Levy Konigsberg LLP is a nationally recognized law firm that has recovered millions of dollars for victims of sexual abuse.  If you or a member of your family has been the victim of sexual misconduct by an employee or volunteer with the YMCA, please contact our lawyers for a free and confidential consultation by calling 1-800-225-9825 or submitting an email inquiry on this page.   

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