Employee Files Reveal More Information in Lorick Park Child Sexual Assault Investigation

We're learning new details as part of an ongoing investigation into two child sex assault.

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - News 19 has learned new information in the on-going investigation of two sexual assaults of children at Columbia's Lorick Park.

On May 21 a 9-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by a teenager and July 28 a 5-year-old boy was also assaulted by a teenager. News 19 filed a Freedom of Information Act, requesting employee files of three city of employees, who were in supervisory roles at the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department.

Those files show that those employees were fired because of those two assaults, and that the same teenager involved in the incidents assaulted both children.

The 5-year-old was a part of the city-run summer camp, although according to the city website, children under the age of six are not allowed to at the camp.

A disciplinary action form for one of those city employees cites "children below the age of six years old are routinely allowed to attend all summer camps throughout the City."  The form continues to say that the " lack of direction and supervision is considered a contributing factor to the incident at Lorick Park."

According to the documentation, a second city parks and rec. employee was fired, over a recent vacation, lasting 16 days during the month of July. "Your absence created a staff shortage which likely contributed to the July 28, 2017 incident involving an unsupervised child at the Lorick Park summer camp program."

That same disciplinary form goes on to say that this same supervisor gave an incomplete report about the sexual assault of the 9-year-old girl, nine weeks earlier.

"There is no indication that there was a follow-up for direction or confirmation of actions to be taken on the individual referenced in the incident report. Further the incident report contained no name and further investigation of that incident revealed that you were aware of the individual's name and frequency to the park location. This same individual was involved in another similar incident at Lorick Park on July 28, 2017, according to a police report. A proactive approach to the May 21, 2017 incident report could have very well averted the reoccurrence of a similar act on July 28, 2017 by the same individual."

Because of the investigation into the Lorick park assaults, it was found that a third employee was also allowing children under the age of six into another city-run summer camp.  That employee was also fired.

The teen in the assaults, was arrested for the assault on the 5-year-old boy and was charged as an adult.  No trial date has been set.
 

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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