A lawsuit filed against the YMCA of Greater St. Louis alleges an unidentified swim instructor sexually abused two young boys in 1986 or 1987 during lessons at the Mid-County branch in Brentwood.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) announced the lawsuit Wednesday.
According to the suit, the two plaintiffs, referred to as John Doe A and John Doe B, do not remember the instructor’s name. They did not know if the instructor worked for the YMCA or acted as a volunteer.
The abuse occurred almost every lesson, which occurred weekly for about a year, according to the suit. The lawsuit states the plaintiffs took semi-private swim lessons as boys, and they were the only two taking part in the lessons with the instructor.
According to the suit, the instructor groomed them as victims by showing them pornography, talking graphically about sex and acting like a big brother to the boys before beginning to sexually abuse them.
The suit alleges that YMCA officials “knew or should have known the swimming instructor was sexually dangerous. It also states the organization failed to provide adequate supervision to prevent the abuse.”
The YMCA released a statement indicating the organization does not comment on pending litigation, and said it had not been served with a copy of the suit as of Wednesday. However, the statement said the YMCA’s “top priority is the safety and security of our members and program participants.”
"The YMCA of Greater St. Louis had no previous knowledge of these claims before (Wednesday’s) public announcement,” according to the statement.
Updated on Feb. 11.
Brentwood Assistant Chief of Police Dan Fitzgerald said since the suspect is not named, the department's records can't be searched, so he can't say for sure if the case was investigated or not. He also said, "Unfortunately, these crimes are not always reported to the police."