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Raleigh mom says son was pinned to ground, assaulted at YMCA camp

Posted July 6

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— There is growing concern among parents, and an ongoing police investigation, after a Raleigh mom said she saw her 6-year-old son being assaulted by two older boys at a Triangle YMCA.

Justine McGuire said she walked into the gym at the A.E. Finley YMCA last week and found her 6-year-old pinned to the ground and assaulted in the groin by two older boys.

"I got there and I found him lying on the ground and his back was next to one of the benches," she said. "One of the boys was holding him down to the ground with his feet on his chest while the other little boy pulled his genitals out of the bottom of his gym shorts and then sat on his face."

McGuire said her son wears a hearing aid and has epilepsy.

But she said her concern skyrocketed when she was told that one of the boys wouldn't be punished at all, and the camp director told her not to contact police.

"The camp director basically told me, 'I know it's gross, but boys will be boys and horseplay is typical at this age' and I may have been overreacting," she said.

McGuire said she disagreed and called authorities.

A Raleigh police spokesperson said they are actively investigating the allegations of assault.

In the meantime, McGuire's story has gained traction on social media where other parents have shared similar stories.

Tasha Bullock says her 8-year-old daughter was assaulted by another child at the same YMCA last fall. She too said the camp director discouraged her from calling police.

"A little boy lifted up her dress and tried to touch her in her private areas under her underwear," Bullock said. "I'm telling (the camp director) I am about to call the police, and he is like, 'Oh, police aren't needed.'"

A YMCA spokesperson released a statement Wednesday that said, "We have been in close contact with parents, our staff and local authorities, and are fully cooperating with the investigation. The children alleged to be involved in the situation are not part of camp at this time."

A letter was also sent home to parents, but officials declined to release any additional specific information about the incident.

YMCA code of conduct prohibits harassment of any kind.

8 Comments

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  • RB Redmond Jul 17, 6:07 p.m.
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    Certainly sick bullying, and that the Y didn't seem upset about it is alarming for any child left alone in their facility.

  • RB Redmond Jul 11, 4:09 p.m.
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    I commend that parent for not beating the snot out of the two boys.
    Had it been me, I would have called the cops on the spot. The heck with talking to the facility director.

  • Bernadette Dan Unger Jul 7, 11:41 a.m.
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    Don't know how old the other boys were but as a parent, had I walked up on this, I know 2 boys that would have needed to see a doctor, and quick. Society is failing at disciplining kids these days simply because they are kids, and they know it. I promise you they would not hurt another child again for fear of what may happen to them. Letting them get away with this leads to someone ultimately getting seriously hurt or killed.

  • Ken Ackerman Jul 7, 7:48 a.m.
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    Nothing is ever done too bullies or about bullies. There's lots of talk about why they do what they do but they never have to pay for the humiliations they inflict on their victims. Those humiliations will be with their victims for the rest of their lives.

    Of course now some big tough grown up bully will come in and say the victims deserve what they get.

  • Ken Ackerman Jul 7, 7:32 a.m.
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    Every time I read the news I swear I'm not going to read anymore. Of course, I come back to see what's happening.

    I have to say that if I were to go to pick up my child and witnessed that behavior the Police would have been called and I would have been arrested....

  • Stacie Hagwood Jul 7, 7:20 a.m.
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    I was there as a presenter for a group about a year ago and it was a terrible experience. There was absolutely no discipline and the "counselors" just sat there and said nothing/did nothing about the disruptive behavior. The person who arranged the science workshop showed us to the room and then left for the day. I would never go back without knowing that legitimate adults were supervising and maintaining control of the children.

  • Marcia Maloney Jul 6, 10:50 p.m.
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    If I were the parent of a child who was mistreated in any way I wouldn't be allowing my child to go back Furthermore I think the director was enjoying the behavior of these kids he needs to be fired

  • Wendy Banner Jul 6, 8:05 p.m.
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    The director of the YMCA on Baileywick needs to be fired! Also Child Protective Services needs to be called to investigate the parents/guardians and homes of the ones who carried out the assault and assaults in the past because there's probably something not right in their homes. The reaction of this Director is completely unacceptable.