YORK, Pa.--A York County mother has filed a lawsuit against the YMCA of York and York County alleging her son was sexually abused by a 13-year-old boy while attending summer camp in July 2015.
The YMCA of the USA is also named as a defendant in the case.
The suit, filed Feb. 17 in the court of common pleas of Philadelphia County alleges the organizations failed to keep her son, then 5, from being sexually abused at Camp Spirit by a teenager who had been reported one year earlier for the same sexual misconduct conduct against a special needs camper.
The complaint alleges that only after the boy's mother reported the 2015 incident to police, did the York YMCA report the teen's 2014 sexual abuse of the special needs camper.
In her lawsuit, the boy's mother claims the York YMCA was instructed the teen had a troubled past, including being involved in sexual misconduct and posed a serious risk to other campers. At no point, the suit claims, did the York YMCA inform other campers, their parents or anyone outside the York YMCA that the teen posed a severe risk of harm to other children.
According to her complaint, on July 3, 2015, a Camp Spirit counselor caught the 13-year-old boy sexually abusing her son under a wooden play structure during a camp outing. The camp counselor tasked with supervising the children at the time of the abuse was identified as Kelsey Martin. The lawsuit states Martin was unfit to supervise children because she did not have a Pennsylvania child abuse clearance. Martin was already under investigation from an incident that occurred on April 10, 2015 where she concealed the death of her newborn by placing the baby inside a shoe box.
As a result of the abuse, the boy's mother claims her son suffers from severe psychological injuries, such as nightmares, anxiety, depression and social withdrawal.
Larry M. Richardson, President/CEO of York YMCA issued the following statement in response to the lawsuit:
"As has been reported in the local media, there has been an incident reported involving two children enrolled in our summer day camp program on July 3, 2015. It has been alleged that a male camper inappropriately touched another male camper while visiting a local park. The YMCA immediately reported the situation to ChildLine and has and will continue to cooperate with the authorities. "