·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

Lawsuits & Litigation

Colorado Springs YMCA Hit with Sexual Assault Lawsuit

— February 27, 2019

The Pikes Peak Region YMCA in Colorado Springs was recently named in a lawsuit filed by a former employee over allegations of sexual assault.

A YMCA based in Colorado Springs recently came under fire in a lawsuit filed by a former employee. According to the suit, the Pikes Peak Region YMCA allegedly “turned a blind eye to a sexual assault by a higher up.” The suit itself was filed earlier this month with the U.S. District Court by Julie Slivka, a “former director of population wellness for the Colorado Springs-based YMCA association.”

Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado Springs, Colorado; image courtesy of Postoak via the English Wikipedia,

According to Slivka, Carlos Lozano, the head of the Southeast branch, “sexually assaulted her after the two went out for drinks.” In the suit, Slivka, who happens to be married, allegedly accepted an invitation from Lozano as a friend, “believing he was having a difficult time with his divorce.” While at a restaurant in Fountain, Lozano allegedly “bought her multiple drinks” and proceeded to make “repeated unwanted sexual advances.” Uncomfortable with the situation, Slivka left the restaurant, though Lozano allegedly “followed her out to her car and tried to prevent her from leaving.”

Then, once she managed to get into her car, she “accidentally ran her car into a median, leading law enforcement to take her to the Fountain Police Department for DUI processing.” To make matters worse, the suit claims “Lozano later arrived at the police station and offered to take her home, but instead took her to the Southeast & Armed Services YMCA, where he allegedly sexually assaulted her in his office.”

Soon after the alleged incident, Slivka reported the assault to the “organization and asked to be kept from working with Lozano.” However, according to Slivka’s lawyer, Ryan Gilman, “the YMCA did not take the account seriously, and rather told her to ‘pray on it.’” When commenting on how the organization handled Slivka’s complaint, Gilman said, “They did a slipshod investigation and did nothing to protect her, or her wellbeing, from this abuser.”

Additionally, the suit argues that the “workplace culture at the Colorado Springs-based YMCA created an environment where male supervisors felt safe behaving inappropriately to female colleagues.”

After the unsatisfactory response she received from her higher-ups about the alleged assault incident, Slivka filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission “alleging sex and disability discrimination and retaliation, and was issued a right to sue letter last year.”

In response to the lawsuit, the YMCA called the allegations “slanderous” and added:

“The YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region takes all allegations of sexual assault seriously. While there is much we would like to say in response to the suit, this is not the appropriate forum. However, we can tell you that we deny the allegations and intend to vigorously defend the lawsuit. Furthermore, we are confident that the allegations will be proven false.”


Lawsuit Alleges Colorado Springs YMCA Ignored Former Employee’s Sexual Assault


Join the conversation!