Montgomery County DA: Camp director failed to report child sex assault
PENNSBURG, Pa. - July 31, 2013 (WPVI) -- The director of a summer camp for children with special needs in Montgomery County is accused of failing to report the sex assault of a child.
Ryan Wexelblatt, 41, of Narberth, Pa., was charged with Failing to Report Suspected Child Abuse (M3) and related offenses, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said.
The investigation began earlier this month when Upper Perkiomen police received a tip call about the sex assault of a child by two other children at a camp.
Action News has learned the incident happened at Camp Sequoia at the Perkiomen School in Pennsburg.
According to investigators, the victim told counselors about the assault, who told their supervisors.
They identified the children responsible and allegedly told Wexelblatt on the morning of July 5th.
Wexelblatt interviewed the children responsible for the assault, the district attorney said, and then allegedly told his senior counselor to drive the children to the airport and make sure they boarded flights to their home states.
The district attorney said at no time did Wexelblatt follow his obligation as a child care worker and report the incident to police or child protective services.
Furthermore, the D.A. said, Wexelblatt did not instruct any of his counselors or employees to report the assault to the proper authorities.
"In this day and age, there is such attention being placed, as it should be, on failure to report," Ferman said. "It's not just the acts of sexual abuse - we're going to deal with those as we need to - but when an institution or individual fails to report child abuse and allows a child victim to endure what they have in silence, that in and of itself is a significant crime."
Wexelblatt was arraigned and released on $20,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for September 12th.
As a condition of his bail, Wexelblatt is not allowed to have any contact with the children who remain at the camp. There was no answer Wednesday at Wexelblatt's home in Narberth, Pa.
In the criminal complaint, one of the counselors quotes Wexelblatt as describing the alleged assault as a "serious prank."
If convicted of failing to report suspected child abuse, Wexelblatt could serve up to a year in prison.
His lawyer had had no comment as of Wednesday afternoon.
The Perkiomen School does not run Camp Sequoia, but rather its organizers rent space from the school. The Perkiomen School said it has no affiliation with Camp Sequoia.
pennsylvania news, montgomery county news, child sex assault, local/state
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