CLEVELAND- The FOX 8 I-Team has uncovered the story of a suspected peeper in the girls' locker room at a city rec center. And we’ve learned a city worker is under investigation. He’s been removed from that building as administrators and police try to sort things out and get to the bottom of the claims.
An 11-year-old girl and two cousins have raised concerns at the Stella Walsh Rec Center off Broadway in Cleveland. They go there to swim. And the 11-year-old told the I-Team what happened has made her “uncomfortable." And she says, “I don’t want to go back."
The child says more than once a worker there has been caught peeking at young females in a girls' locker room, and he’s come into the locker room while they were in there.
The 11-year-old’s mother, Anitra Tolbert, said, "I'm thinking, like, maybe it was an accident.." But mom says the more she heard made her more worried. Tolbert says the man even relieved himself in the same locker room with the girls. Tolbert added, "He needs to be off the job, and he actually needs to be held accountable for his actions."
That mother told us twice she called police , and twice officers told her she could not file a report. And she says a rec center administrator asked her to not make a big deal out of this.
In fact, the I-Team found records showing two calls to police. And we’ve confirmed the mother had been told she could not make a police report because the actual criminal activity wasn’t clear.
Now, however, a criminal investigation has been referred to the Cleveland Police Sex Crimes unit.
For three days, the I-Team asked questions about this through the mayor’s office. Finally, a spokesperson sent a statement saying, “The City of Cleveland takes seriously all claims concerning the health and safety of a child. The employee in question was removed Friday, June 22 by his supervisor and is currently assigned to a facility that does not host children. We can confirm police officers responded to the recreation center immediately following the complaint, but we are unable to provide further details until the investigation is complete.”
Since the investigation is ongoing we are not identifying the worker involved. No charges have been filed, and no disciplinary action has been taken.
Meantime, the girls at the heart of this are going to another rec center to swim.