Nonprofit Briefs: YMCA Sexual Assault Woes; JCC, YMCA Expansions

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A $10 million lawsuit has been filed against the Fulton County YMCA, Johnstown, New York, and former employee,19-year-old Tyler Benton, WGRB recently reported. Benton is charged with first-degree rape of a pre-teen girl on April 13 in the Y's family locker room. The civil suit alleges that previous complaints against Benton meant the Y knew he was a danger. The Y fired Benton, who had been an employee since 2017, after it found out about the complaint of the alleged crime, according to the Daily Gazette. The lawsuit claims the YMCA failed to properly educate or train staff concerning misconduct and inappropriate behavior.

Three teenage girls were sexually assaulted at the downtown Wichita YMCA, Wichita, Kansas, on May 8, KAKE TV and the Wichita Eagle reported. Keith Magoon, 31, was charged with one count of rape and four counts of aggravated sexual battery after a 17-year-old girl and two 16-year-old girls reported he attacked them in the pool area, the Wichita Eagle reported. This is the second sexual assault incident at the downtown Y where former employee Caleb Gaston allegedly attacked two toddlers in the Kid Zone in 2018. The Y had improved its security systems since that incident. The Y does sex offender screenings of all members, guests and employees. Magoon was not registered as a sex offender.

The Jewish Community Center Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, released renderings of its $40 million campus that show new building locations, sports fields and updated security, WDRB reported. The current building will be torn down, and the new campus will be built at the back of the property, partially to allow for better security.  Existing outdoor pools will remain, but the new campus will include new indoor pools. Construction could start by November and will take about 18 months. The current community center will remain open during construction.

The West St. Paul YMCA, St. Paul, Minnesota, has found a temporary home in Inver Grove Heights at the Southridge Center after accepting a $3.8 million purchase agreement from Hy-Vee for its current location, according to the Pioneer Press. The Y, which serves 7,000 members, will continue to operate in its current location at 150 Thompson Ave. through the fall. Most of the Y's current services should be available when it moves to its temporary location, the Y indicated. Discussions are ongoing for a permanent location.

The Cor Van Raay YMCA, Lethbridge, Canada, the third largest YMCA in North America, has opened in early May at the ATB Centre after four years of planning and construction, reported Global News. The 256,000-square-foot Y, which is owned by the city but operated by the Y, features a 24,000-square-foot fitness center, indoor track and aquatics center.

The city of Snoqualmie, Washington, has proposed a $12.5 million, 22,000-square-foot expansion of the Snoqualmie YMCA. The city owns the Y building, and the Y operates it for the city. The addition would include an aquatics facility for cold and warm-water pools and multipurpose space for exercising and additional services. The Snoqualmie Valley Record recently reported that the expansion could be completed as soon as 2021 after a formal decision is made this summer so the Y can pursue grant funding for the project.

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