BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Attorneys say an 11-year-old girl with special needs became pregnant and contracted a disease after being raped at a summer camp. The YMCA is facing a major lawsuit.
The girl, who was 11-years-old at the time, says she was raped in the sauna, which is in the basement of the William Emslie YMCA on William Street. The lawsuit contends summer camp staffers at the Y knew of the abuse but failed to report it to authorities.
Attorney John Elmore said, "This mother noticed that her child's stomach was growing. Her child, which was an 11-year-old child, was pregnant."
Elmore is recalling a Buffalo mother's nightmare that turned out to be all-too-real. Elmore's law firm has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the girl who is now 12, her mother, and her newborn, accusing the Greater Buffalo YMCA with gross negligence in its care of the camper, last July.
The girl accused a camp counselor of sexually abusing her two different times at the William Emslie Y's summer camp. And the second time says she was raped, which was witnessed by an adult supervisor.
"They did their own internal investigation, and chose to believe the perpetrator, who claimed at the time that nothing happened, rather than the person who witnessed it," said Elmore.
The 11-year-old girl became pregnant, and named her attacker as the father. The girl, a special education student, gave birth to a baby boy in March, and then learned she contracted a sexually transmitted disease.
The YMCA has released a written statement saying, "an incident involving inappropriate conduct between a camper and an employee of the Buffalo Summer Youth Employment Program. The employee was removed from the YMCA and the incident was reported to the parent of the child involved. There was no report of rape or pregnancy to the YMCA until late April 2011 upon the arrival of a summons from the law firm."
Elmore contends, officials at the Y were obligated to report these incidents to authorities.
Elmore said, "They had a legal obligation to notify the police department and child protection authorities and they neglected to do that."
We're withholding the name of the family involved in the lawsuit to protect the young girl, who is only named in the lawsuit as "Jane Doe." The name of the alleged offender is not given in the lawsuit.
The 12-year-old girl's child was born in March and was born prematurely, with some respiratory ailments. He is being cared for at Women and Children's Hospital.
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