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Ashtabula County prosecutor investigates YMCA executive for alleged sex crimes

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 10:33 PM EDT
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ASHTABULA COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - 19 News has learned prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation into a YMCA executive accused of sexually abusing a teenager.

On Friday, the Ashtabula County Prosecutor said her office had launched a criminal investigation into the YMCA executive.

She said they are reviewing the facts of the case and once they wrap up the investigation, they’ll decide if they’ll file charges.

“I definitely feel some relief,” said Megan Brydle, the former YMCA membership director. “I think that Manny feels relief. I don’t feel like he is you know out of the woods quite yet with it. I think all we can do now is just really pray that the prosecutor does some work and finds justice in all of it.”

We are still not naming this man because he hasn’t been charged yet, but he has a high-ranking position at the Ashtabula YMCA.

Manny, now 20-years-old, said when he was 17 and homeless, he met this YMCA executive.

This YMCA employee who was more than twice Manny’s age offered to let him move in, without many options, Manny accepted.

“He was targeted,” Brydle said. “He was someone who was homeless. He was someone who had no family to fall back on, the educational background and he was taken advantage of.”

Manny said he felt forced to engage in sexual activity with the YMCA executive because he was giving him a place to stay, and he was controlling his money.

“I felt like I had to do what I had to do in order to stay there,” Manny admitted.

Megan Brydle is the former YMCA membership director and one of the first people Manny came to.

“I wouldn’t wish this on anybody,” said Brydle. “Manny being 17 years old, it’s difficult for a kid to come out and you know say that something like this sexual abuse happened to them and all of the kids I think of them as a motherly figure and just to hear something like that is gut-wrenching. To know it happened is gut-wrenching.”

Brydle said when nothing was done, she eventually quit her job at the YMCA. Last month Manny filed a police report and now the prosecutor’s office is investigating.

Brydle believes there may have been other victims and she’s hoping they’ll come forward.

“I can only pray that they watch the news, that they see Manny coming forward, that that sheds some light for them, and that they feel empowered to come forward because it’s not easy, I couldn’t even imagine,” said Brydle. “So, I just pray that if they hear this, if they talk to Manny, if they’re questioned by police that they really do share their story because it’s so important to protect kids.”

19 News reached out to the YMCA board president Friday to ask him how he felt about the prosecutor opening an investigation.

The last time we spoke he told us the executive was put on paid administrative leave, but that they already conducted an investigation and didn’t believe any YMCA policies were violated.

So far, he has not called us back.

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