Fife teenager arrested for allegedly molesting girl at summer day camp

Staff writerJuly 10, 2013 

A 14-year-old boy training to be a counselor at a Fife summer day camp was arrested on suspicion of molesting a 9-year-old girl, police said Wednesday.

The boy was booked into Remann Hall Juvenile Detention Center on Friday.

Police Commander Tim Floyd said the investigation was ongoing and declined to discuss details of the incident because the suspect and the victim are juveniles.

Police did say the teen was attending a junior counselor training program at Columbia Junior High and that the girl was attending a day camp hosted by the Fife Parks & Recreation Department.

Laurel Potter, public information officer for Fife, said that on Friday a participant at one of the city’s weeklong day camps passed a note to a camp counselor, complaining of inappropriate behavior by one of the junior counselors-in-training.

The incident allegedly happened in the open in a public setting, Potter said.

A staff counselor talked with the child about the matter and then separated the trainee from other campers. A staff member contacted police, who took the teen away and opened an investigation, Potter said.

Parents of the children participating in the day camp were told of the incident Monday, she said.

Potter noted that the accused teen was not a paid staff member but was participating in a four-day training program. The teen is not expected to return to the day camp program, she said.

The program has 10 one-week sessions between June and August for children ages 6-12. Activities include swimming, games, arts and crafts, guest speakers and field trips.

Staff members at the camps are adults, most of whom have worked for the Parks and Recreation Department for several years, Potter said. They are screened by the Washington State Patrol and are trained in safe camp protocols and working with children, she said.

“Staff members reacted down to the letter of how they were supposed to,” Potter said. “As soon as the issue was brought up, he was directly removed from the situation, and the police were notified immediately.”

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653
Staff writer Rob Carson contributed to this report.

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