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Child Sexual Abuse Claim Being Investigated at Avon YMCA

2-year-old alleging fondling, YMCA, police investigating

The as well as the French Creek YMCA and Child Protective Services are investigating whether a 2-year-old girl was sexually fondled by a man at the YMCA, located on Recreation Drive in Avon.

YMCA personnel, after reviewing tapes, said it does not see evidence to support the allegation and will continue to assist authorities.

“It was brought to our attention yesterday,” Rick Haase, the Vice President of Marketing for the Greater Cleveland YMCA said on Jan. 16. “We’re assisting both the Avon Police and Child Protective Services and doing everything possible to help investigate the allege abuse.

“We take this very seriously as one of Northeast Ohio’s largest non-profit organizations.”

Haase said a parent contacted the Avon Police department after a mother changed her child’s diaper.

“We want to do everything to assist with the investigation,” Haase said. “But especially since it involves (a child). We take that incredibly seriously.”

The YMCA has reviewed security tapes from its Avon branch and have turned them over to the police.

“We don’t see any evidence this is happening in our building,” Haase said. “We will be doing our own internal investigation.”

The child was reportedly in the child-care area when the alleged incident occurred.

Haase said he wanted to stress the YMCA remains a safe haven for all families and children served by the organization, which has 12 full-service branches, 17 before and after school childcare facilities, four preschool sites and 16 summer camp sites in the Greater Cleveland area.

“A lot of what we do concerns children,” Haase said. “We focus on our core values of caring, honesty, respect, responsibility and faith.”

The French Creek YMCA is one of Greater Cleveland's newest facilities, opening in 2010.

Check back tomorrow to review incident report and follow this story as it continues to develop.

Lori E. Switaj is a former member of the French Creek YMCA Board of Directors.

Nate January 17, 2013 at 04:35 PM
I agree with Anneliese...but I just am too impatient. No men work in that area...and nobody fitting the description can be found on video. I just have a feeling ( don't jump down my neck here...I am very aware of the seriousness of this allegation) that this is an attempt to sue the YMCA....people are money hungry.
Becky R January 21, 2013 at 05:33 PM
Was there any update to their investigation/claim?
Megan Watson January 24, 2013 at 09:50 PM
I used to work in Child watch and I can promise you that it is a very safe environment where parents can feel good about leaving their children while working out swimming etc. All our kids love being in there. I myself have an infant that I take in there constantly. I really hope you do decide to join the YMCA because its an amazing place to be... :) :)
Kathleen O'Brien Wilhelm January 24, 2013 at 10:51 PM
Talk to your children. A sex predator never changes even after jail. They are scum.Go to the Lorain County Sheriff's website and look where the sex offenders are in your area and then talk to your children some more.
Jon Rosenstadt February 18, 2013 at 06:50 PM
Yes! Talk to your children. Tell them that there are terrible people in the world. People who will use computers to attempt to manipulate you into believing bizarre things. People who dont believe in evidence, fact, logic, or even basic common sense. People who talk out of their backside and think that someone, somewhere, must be hanging on their every word.

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