Christina Stueve Hodges Dec. 28, 2012, 12:23pm
The parents of a minor girl who was sexually assaulted by an Edwardsville YMCA worker have filed suit demanding an amount “exceeding $50,000,” according to a complaint filed in Madison County Circuit Court.
Defendants include the facility and its director--Edwardsville Mayor Gary Niebur.
The perpetrator, then 28-year-old Kassidy Kueper, formerly worked as a substitute teacher and volunteer girls’ soccer coach at Edwardsville High School before joining the YMCA as a part-time employee. He had no criminal history when he was accused of abusing two young girls on April, 20 2011.
Kueper was arrested a week after the complaint was made, then indicted on criminal sexual abuse charges.
Before trial was scheduled to begin on June 11 of this year, he pleaded guilty to having inappropriate sexual contact with children on May 31, according to court records. Kueper was sentenced to two and a half years of probation, was required to register as a sex offender, and was ordered to undergo sex offender counseling and treatment while having no contact with the victims.
The YMCA issued a statement, vigorously disputing the lawsuit’s claims.
“The Edwardsville YMCA will defend itself from the allegations, which are based on the unforeseeable criminal acts of a terminated employee,” said Rev. Dr. James Brooks, Edwardsville YMCA Board President. “The YMCA had no knowledge that would have led the Y to believe that Kueper would engage in the conduct to which he pled guilty. (We) fully cooperated and assisted in the criminal case.
"The safety and well-being of children is the YMCA’s top priority. The Edwardsville YMCA has no tolerance for inappropriate contact with children. Caring for children and all patrons has always been an important part of the Y’s mission. For more than 60 years, the Edwardsville YMCA has lived up to its mission with thousands of families and patrons.
"The YMCA expects vindication in a court of law with respect to the claims made in the lawsuit.”
According to the complaint, filed Dec. 21, the YMCA had a duty to N.N. of responsible care with regard to contact between its employees and/or advisors and the minors who attended and paid for its program, including but not limited to N.N., then a minor.
N.N. has endured pain, suffering, and mental anguish in the past and is reasonably certain to experience pain, suffering, and mental anguish in the future; and/or has expended sums of money for medical care, treatment and services in the past, and is certain to expend sums of money for future medical care, treatment and services, the suit claims.
N.N. also sustained psychological and/or emotional disability in the past and will continue to have disability in the future, the suit claims.
Attorney Barbara L. Sherer of Edwardsville, who specializes in family and criminal law, represents the parents.
Madison County case number 12-L-2066.