Security Lapse Revealed in Alleged Wilson Pool Rapes

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    NEWSLETTERS

    News 4's Mark Segraves reports on an emergency council hearing investigating alleged sexual assaults at a D.C. public pool where three women claim they were sexually assaulted by employees after hours. (Published Monday, Dec 16, 2013)

    After reports of several sexual assaults at the Wilson pool, officials said security procedures that could have alerted authorities were not followed.

    One victim came forward Nov. 26, and claimed she was severely beaten and raped at the pool in by a pool employee who let himself and the victim in after hours.

    Two more victims have since come forward to say they were raped at the Wilson Aquatic Center by an employee who brought them there after hours. Both of those victims are minors and say they were taken to the pool Nov. 9 by two men, one of whom is an employee at the pool.

    The pool is run by the District's Department of Parks and Recreation, and the workers there are rec department employees.

    The department's interim director, Sharia Shanklin, testified Monday before the D.C. Council.

    Shanklin could not say why the first unauthorized entry to the pool in early November went unnoticed by upper management, nor could she confirm if there were other entries into other facilities.

     

    One of the pool employees has been fired and the employee whose access code was used has been placed on paid administrative leave since the Nov. 26 incident.

    Several months ago, the District's inspector general reported pool employees used drug and alcohol and supervisors knew about it. Shanklin testified she was not aware of that incident.

    Council member Mary Cheh initiated Monday's emergency hearing and she was less than pleased with the results.

    "People are either just not doing their jobs, or they're negligent, or if they are making reports, they're going to people who are covering up for those who are misbehaving," Cheh told News4.