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Parents Say YMCA Covered Up Child Abuse

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (CN) - The YMCA covered up the sexual abuse of a child, the child's parents claim in court.

Former YMCA of Edwardsville employee Kassidy Kueper pleaded guilty to criminal sexual abuse of a child, N.N., on May 31, 2012. Kueper fondled N.N. while the child was lying down near him at YMCA's day care center on April 20, 2011, according to the complaint in Madison County Court.

N.N.'s parents claim YMCA Executive Director Gary Niebur and YMCA employees Kelly Barrett and Roger Schmidt not only failed as mandatory reporters to report the abuse, but tried to cover it up.

The parents claim the YMCA retained Kueper as an employee even after finding out about the abuse of their child and others.

The complaint states: "That, upon information and belief, the defendant, Kassidy Kueper was reprimanded by Kelly Barrett, Roger Schmidt, and/or other supervisors at YMCA-USA and/or YMCA-Edwardsville and/or YMCA-Foundation for prior improper and/or inappropriate conduct with minors.

"That, upon information and belief, the defendant, Kassidy Kueper, had previously been fired from a position with Champaign Unit 4 Schools, located in Champaign, Ill., for improper and/or inappropriate contact with students."

The parents claim the YMCA failed to properly investigate and supervise its employers, failed to properly investigate and have sufficient guidelines involving employee conduct and failed to discipline and perform a background check on Kueper.

They seek damages for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress, battery, assault and for violations of the Rights of Married Persons Act. They are represented by Barbara Shorer.

Named as defendants are the National Council of Young Men's Association of the United States of America dba YMCA of the USA, YMCA of Edwardsville, Edwardsville YMCA Foundation, Niebur, Barrett, Schmidt and Kueper.

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