A former employee of VillaSport Athletic Club & Spa in Colorado Springs has been charged with two counts of sexual assault on a child. Investigators say that 22-year-old Ryan Callins asked two 7-year-old girls to touch his private parts at the facility sometime in 2018.
Callins' arrest affidavit alleges that he asked the two girls to touch his "ticklish spot" - a term he used to refer to his crotch. According to the affidavit, the two girls did so because they did not understand the sexual nature of what he had asked.
The alleged incident occurred in 2018, according to the documents. However, it wasn't reported to the police until February 2019. The court documents say that Colorado Springs police contacted the gym in March and that the general manager declined to provide employment records without a warrant.
The police returned with a warrant 15 days later and, according to the court documents, employment records confirmed that the alleged victims were at VillaSport several times while Callins was on the clock.
The affidavit says that Callins was fired from VillaSport on November 13, 2018.
Attorney contributor Dan Lipman represents victims of sexual crimes in civil lawsuits. Dan has offered to share some general thoughts regarding the legal rights of those who have been sexually abused by employees of gyms and other businesses:
Business owners have a responsibility to make sure that their employees are trustworthy people - especially if those employees will be working with children. Contrary to the popular warnings of "stranger danger", sexual predators are often found in positions of trust, where they'll have the opportunity to sexually abuse vulnerable people like children and the elderly. When an employee is found to have sexually abused a customer, it's important if the business owner failed in their legal duty to protect their customers from sexual predators.
In cases where a business owner failed to meet this legal duty, he or she may be considered negligent and could potentially be held liable if the victims and their families decide to file a lawsuit.
For example, a gym owner could be possibly deemed negligent if they were made aware of sexual abuse allegations involving an employee but failed to contact law enforcement.
If you or someone you love has been sexually abused by a gym employee or an employee of another business, you can learn more about your family's legal options by speaking with an experienced sex abuse victims lawyer.