D.C.

Wilson Aquatic Center abuse allegations topic of Monday hearing

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WASHINGTON (WJLA) - An emergency public hearing on allegations of sexual abuse at a public pool was held Monday by a D.C. Council member.

The allegations include a rape by an employee and two other young women claiming they were sexually assaulted at the Wilson Aquatic Center,

D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh hosted Monday's hearing.

"I wasn't satisfied with how the Department of Parks and Recreation dealt with the incident in terms of communication with the public, assuring them about the safety of the pool," explained Cheh. “We do not condone and are not tolerant of acting outside of protocol and practice."

District Police are also searching, investigating the report of the 23-year-old woman who says she was raped in the Wilson Aquatic Center's locker room. The reported attacks occurred Nov. 9th & the 26th. In the first incident, the young women went to the pool with two males who had a key to the $35 million facility.

At Monday’s hearing, officials explained that the two suspects are employees who knew the victims; police have not yet made any arrests.

However, council members still wanted to know how no one in any position of authority knew the alleged impromptu parties after hours were going on, as the activity only came to light when the woman stepped forward and reported to police that she had been raped.

The interim director of Parks and Recreation promised an exhaustive review, but explained that there is no security personnel at the pool. Security video tapes are also only reviewed intermittently, and the daily entry logs which would show that someone had entered the pool after hours somehow didn't highlight any problems at the time.

According to the police report, one of the employees told police the woman he was with was intoxicated that night and had sex with him. Cheh says she has been pressing the Department of Parks and Recreation, but it has not been forthcoming with details.

"You have alleged rapist working at the pool for more than a month before any action was taken," explained Kent Slowinski, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner. "And it took more than two weeks to get DPR to post notices."

Cheh's office says the patrons were never in any harm because the incidents occurred after hours. The most recent incidents happened between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.

One employee has been fired, another is suspended.

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