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Judge: Youth club facing sex abuse suits had lax oversight

January 23, 2021 GMT

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — A youth club in which six men say they were sexually abused as children lacked proper training and supervision for staff and had no system in place for reporting abuse, a Connecticut judge said.

The Greenwich Boys & Girls Club had a “very lax method of conducting its operations” in the 1970s and 1980s, when the men say a teenage locker room supervisor bullied and assaulted them, Judge John Kavanewsky said Friday.

Kavanewsky spoke at a pretrial hearing on lawsuits filed by the men, now in their 50s, the Greenwich Time reported.

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One of the men testified the abuse started when he was 6. Some said they were abused during a club-sponsored trip to the Rye Playland amusement park in New York.

The newspaper reports that the Greenwich Boys & Girls Club has not disputed the abuse allegations but denies the men’s claims that higher-ups, including the director, were aware of the abuse and didn’t stop it.

The judge set potential damages at $4.5 million and ordered the club to provide information about its assets before trial, scheduled for the summer. The men’s lawyer was seeking a total of $19 million to be split among them.

Kavanewsky said it’s likely the men will “require some measure of mental health intervention for the rest of their lives.”