Former YMCA camp counselor Christopher Brayton-Tedesco has been charged with multiple counts of indecent assault, all involving the same child. The 28-year-old counselor, who has since been fired by the YMCA, is accused of sexually assaulting the child during an overnight camping trip at Camp Spindrift, which is part of the Cape Ann YMCA's summer services. These summer services offer programs for boys and girls from ages 4 to 14.
Brayton-Tedesco was fired on August 17, two days after another counselor told superiors that Brayton-Tedesco was acting in a way that made him "uncomfortable and suspicious" after an overnight camping event.
Brayton-Tedesco is currently being held without bail in Middleton Jail until his dangerousness hearing on Tuesday, September 11.
This is not the first time the YMCA has made headlines for allegations of sexual abuse against their employees and volunteers.
In February 2018, a group of parents filed a lawsuit against the YMCA of Greater Louisville for allegedly failing to protect their children from sexual abuse by an 18-year-old teacher's aide working with the organization. The lawsuit claims that Michael Begin continued to sexually abuse a girl for almost two months after police began investigating the first sexual abuse allegation against him.
In February 2016, the mother of a boy in York, Pennsylvania sued the YMCA of York, claiming that staff members failed to protect her son from being sexually assaulted by an older boy with a history of sexually abusing other young children. The lawsuit alleges that the camp was aware of the older boy's history and that they failed to report the incident of sexual abuse to authorities. Additionally, the YMCA allegedly failed to notify other campers or their parents about the risk this older boy posed to other campers.
Kim Dougherty is an experienced sexual abuse victims lawyer. We've asked her to share some information on the legal rights of victims and their families:
When we sign our children up for youth programs, we expect that the adults who will be supervising them are trustworthy people. Unfortunately, the sad reality is that sexual predators sometimes seek out positions in these programs. This is why it's crucial for organizations like the YMCA to make sure their employees and volunteers have no history of sexual abuse. Additionally, these organizations must take claims of sexual abuse seriously and make sure that those who have been accused of such crimes are fired immediately before they can hurt others.
When allegations of child sexual abuse arise, seeing the perpetrator brought to justice is a top priority. Reporting these allegations to law enforcement should always be the first step. Additionally, families in this situation should be aware that filing a civil lawsuit can help them as well. These lawsuits help hold accountable the third parties who failed to stop the abuse and help provide financial compensation for damages related to the abuse
If your family is going through this difficult situation and looking to find justice through the legal system, you can learn more about your legal options by speaking with an experienced sexual abuse victims lawyer.