- Coach accused of child sex crimes
- In unusual twist, he’s not identified
- The accusers don’t remember his name
- Man taught swimming lessons at the YMCA
- Lawsuit alleges he abused two boys for a year
- Victims support group begs others to come forward
- “YMCA must reach out to other victims, witnesses & whistleblowers” SNAP says
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, victims of sex abuse will disclose and discuss a new lawsuit against the YMCA and a local swim coach. The suit charges:
--the coach sexually abused two boys during swim lessons,
--the abuse took place weekly for more than a year, and
--YMCA officials knew or should have known the risk the coach posed and did little to stop him.
The victims will also will also:
-- urge YMCA officials to actively seek out anyone who may have been hurt, and
-- beg anyone who has seen, suspected, or suffered crimes at the YMCA to come forward to law enforcement.
Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 1:15 p.m.
Outside the YMCA headquarters, 1528 Locust St. (at 16th) in downtown St. Louis
Three members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org).
This week, two men filed a child sex abuse lawsuit against the St. Louis YMCA and a local swim coach, whom they charge molested them weekly for more than a year.
The coach, whose name neither victim recalls, worked at the Mid-Town branch of the St. Louis YMCA in the late-1980s, when both boys were around 11 or 12. The boys took semi-private lessons at which the coach had full, unfettered access to both kids.
During that time, the lawsuit charges, the coach showed the boys pornography before and after their lessons and spoke graphically about sex. From there, he began to sexually abuse them, taking advantage of his position as a "big brother" figure.
Member of SNAP want the YMCA to reach out to other potential victims and urge them to contact law enforcement. They are calling on the organization to aggressively seek out others who may have encountered the coach.
These are the first known cases against the coach and the Mid-Town YMCA. SNAP, however, fears there may be more victims suffering in shame and silence.
The victims in this case are represented by attorney Ken Chackes (880 4465 office, 369 3902 cell). Jon N. Reed is the Y’s Board Chair. The case is filed in St. Louis County Circuit Court.