The Fulton County YMCA is under fire in a new lawsuit alleging it’s negligence allowed the rape of a child to occur in the facility.
The YMCA in Fulton County is at the center of a new federal lawsuit after the organization received multiple complaints of “inappropriate behavior concerning an employee now accused of raping a 12-year-old girl at the facility.” The suit was filed by the family of the girl and is seeking $10 million in damages. The employee, Tyler R. Benton, was arrested last month on a first-degree rape charge.
According to the suit, Benton allegedly raped the little girl inside the Fulton County YMCA family locker room back on April 13. Unfortunately, the attack occurred after the particular YMCA had “received other complaints against Benton, but failed to properly respond.” The suit states:
“It is alleged that the YMCA had actual knowledge of defendant Benton’s behavior based upon direct observation, reports, and complaints from co-workers, children, and parents, yet no action was taken to stop the behavior while it was occurring.”
Attorney Ryan M. Finn is representing the family. Both Benton and the Fulton County YMCA are named as defendants in the suit. Why was Benton allowed to continue working, though? According to YMCA officials, Benton worked as a part-time employee since 2017 and was “terminated when the rape complaint was brought to their attention.”
The lawsuit argues the YMCA should have acted sooner and made “further allegations related to the day of the alleged attack, that the attack followed hours of inappropriate behavior from Benton toward children at the facility.” It turns out, Benton worked in the teen center at the YMCA facility. According to the suit, “in the hours leading up to the attack, Benton acted inappropriately toward the girl and several others.” For example, he “had children sit on his lap, he rubbed their shoulders and hair and had inappropriate conversations with them.” The suit further states, “Defendant Benton had previously engaged in similar conduct throughout his employment.”
When Benton attacked the child, he did so by luring her into the family locker room by “claiming he was looking for a manager to return keys.” Additionally, he asked the girl for help and raped her after she repeatedly told him ‘NO,’” the suit states. On top of that, the suit argues that Benton eventually admitted to the rape and has “tried to excuse his behavior by pathetically claiming that he was just ‘excited.’”
As a result of the incident, the family claims the YMCA was negligent and accuses defendants of “gender discrimination and intentional infliction of emotional distress and battery, along with state human rights law violations.”