By Brandi Makuski
The Stevens Point YMCA on Monday released a statement addressing an alleged sexual assault in the building, which reportedly took place on Jan. 29.
David Morgan, CEO for the Stevens Point Area YMCA, said he’s aware of the report, saying it left him “shocked” and “disappointed”.
“First and foremost, we take the safety of all YMCA members and guests very seriously,” Morgan said via telephone on Monday. Morgan said he wants families to feel safe at the YMCA, noting the incident resulted from a “breakdown” in supervision when two groups visited the YMCA that night.
Morgan added the supervision was supposed to be provided by the groups while at the facility.
“This was a unique situation; there were special groups attending that Y that evening,” Morgan said. “As part of that arrangement, they were required to have chaperons with them at all times.”
Morgan said the groups were comprised of teenagers but did not disclose name or other identifying factors of the groups — but he did say both groups have had their access to the YMCA suspended.
He said the alleged assault was reported after the groups left the building, and only then was YMCA staff contacted.
“After conducting a number of interviews, the officers took a teenage boy into custody. Both the boy and the girl were not regular members and were part of different groups visiting the Y,” Morgan said in an email statement. “It was our expectation that both groups were to be supervised appropriately by their staff. Unfortunately, they did not meet our expectations. Therefore, we suspended both groups access to the Y.”
Morgan added his staff regularly conducts security reviews of the building to ensure “the safest environment possible,” also saying he and his staff are “cooperating fully with the police”.
“This is the first time something of this nature has happened at our Y, and we will do what is necessary to prevent it from happening again,” the statement read.
Morgan said via telephone along with video security and personal supervision, the YMCA also ensures sex offenders aren’t granted membership to the facility. That’s been protocol for the past decade, he said.
“For 48 years, the Stevens Point Area YMCA has served our community with distinction and pride as an organization focused on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility,” Morgan’s statement read. “We are committed to providing children, families and individuals with opportunities to learn, grow and thrive.”