AVON, Ohio – The police are investigating whether a child was sexually assaulted and if it happened inside the French Creek YMCA on Recreation Lane.
“The safety and security of all our members - but especially children - is our top priority and we take that very seriously,” said Rick Haase from the Greater Cleveland YMCA. According to Haase, the organization is working with police to learn more about the allegation.
According to an internal incident report provided by the YMCA, the police were called after a 2-year-old girl told her mother she was fondled by a man in a black hat on Monday. The mom reportedly discovered a problem while changing the child’s diaper.
“We believe very strongly in our core values of caring, respect, honesty, responsibility and faith, and we take those responsibilities very seriously. One of our key platforms is developing youth, so anything involving children is very precious to us as an organization,” said Haase.
According to the YMCA report, the girl was in a child care area but Haase said there aren’t any male employees in that part of the facility.
“You have to look into it - there's no getting around it,” said Judy Olic, a member of the YMCA. “It would be a very unfortunate thing if it did happen.”
“I'd be angry and want to find out what's happening,” said Judy’s husband, Kenneth. “If it was one of my grandkids, I'd really be upset and wanna know and see what's happening, yes.”
Both the Avon Police Department and the management of the Greater Cleveland YMCA said they’re still working to confirm whether it happened, but according to the policy at the Y, the allegation was also reported to child and family services.
“There is a lot of speculation right now. It is an ongoing police investigation and we are assisting them in every possible way for the most positive outcome,” said Haase.
Security footage from inside the branch is being turned over to authorities.