Amid charges, York YMCA president goes on leave
The York County YMCA president accused of failing to properly report alleged sexual abuse at Camp Spirit in 2014 has been granted administrative leave, the YMCA announced Wednesday.
Larry Richardson, president and CEO for the YMCA of York for 23 years, will be placed on leave effective immediately. The board of directors accepted Richardson's request for leave.
Richardson is charged with endangering the welfare of children and failure to report or refer suspected child abuse, stemming from an alleged sexual-abuse incident at Camp Spirit in July 2014, according to charging documents.
By law, certain people who work with or around children are required to report suspected cases of child abuse. According to Richardson's charging documents, the YMCA staff should have reported the suspected abuse within 24 hours.
Police said they were only made aware of the incident at Camp Spirit in East Manchester Township last August — a year after the alleged incident — through Pennsylvania's ChildLine, a child-abuse reporting hotline.
Background: Northeastern Regional Police said during the two times they spoke to Richardson about the incident, in August 2015 and February this year, he maintained that the situation did not reach a criminal level and the boys' actions were "peer-to-peer."
A therapeutic support staff member told police earlier that the alleged victim told her "something bad had happened" that caused him to be embarrassed and upset.
Police say they received conflicting information on the incident. According to charging documents, police were told by Richardson that the two boys allegedly involved were removed from the camp following the incident, but a therapeutic support staff member told them the boys were back at camp the next day.
Police also said the two boys were listed on the camp roster together for all of July 2014 and a separate week in August 2014.
When asked about the conflicting information, Richardson told police he was unsure and would have to look into it, documents state.
The charges were filed May 25, and Richardson was arraigned the next day. He was released on $25,000 unsecured bail.
Richardson's attorney, Christopher Ferro, could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.