Child Victims Act lawsuit filed against Glens Falls YMCA

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By Chad Arnold

In a lawsuit filed this summer, the Family YMCA of the Glens Falls Area has been accused of failing to prevent an employee from sexually abusing a young boy in the 1970s.

The lawsuit was filed in state Supreme Court in Warren County on Aug. 18 by a victim who alleges a janitor employed at the YMCA repeatedly abused him between 1970 and 1971 when he was between 9 and 10 years old.

The Post-Star is withholding the person’s name because they are an alleged victim of sexual assault.

The lawsuit was filed under the Child Victims Act, a 2019 law that extended the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse and created a lookback window for victims to file litigation against their alleged abusers in cases where the statute previously expired.

The victim claims that a custodian worker, listed by first name only in the lawsuit, repeatedly sexually abused him and others while he was employed by the Glens Falls YMCA.

The Family YMCA of the Glens Falls Area, the New York Association of YMCA’s and the national organization of YMCA are all named as defendants in the case. The alleged abuse took place at the Glens Falls YMCA.

“Each defendant, through their agents, servants and employees, knew or should have known that (the custodian worker) was likely to sexually abuse children, (including the alleged victim), because other minor children were being abused by (the custodian worker) at the time, and it was common knowledge that (the custodian worker) was taking plaintiff and other minor children into rooms to isolate them where (the custodian worker) would sexually abuse them while they were alone with him,” the lawsuit reads.

The alleged victim is seeking compensation and damages for the alleged abuse in an amount to be determined at trial.

In a response filed last month, the Glens Falls YMCA said it lacks “knowledge and information sufficient” to either confirm or deny the claim.

When reached for comment on Friday, the Family YMCA of the Glens Falls Area issued a statement saying it was “deeply saddened and disturbed” by the allegations and that it remains committed to providing a safe environment for all patrons.

“At the Family YMCA of the Glens Falls Area, the safety and well-being of children in our care always has been and always will be a top priority. We were deeply saddened and disturbed to learn about allegations of sexual abuse allegedly occurring at the YMCA, approximately 50 years ago,” the statement reads.

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