Boys & Girls Club Assures Families Children’s Safety is Paramount

An article in Greenwich Time on Saturday quoted documents from Stamford Superior Court saying a lawsuit filed by five men in their late 40’s and early 50s, alleging that back when they were young members of the Boys & Girls Club when it was just the Greenwich Boys’ Club, leadership in the late 1970s and early ’80s knew a counselor Andrew Atkinson, was sexually abusing boys as young as 6 and did nothing to stop it. And that Atkinson molested and raped multiple boys hundreds of times and was allowed to work alone with the children in the locker room even after a child reported the abuse to an administrator.

The lawsuit was brought by attorney Phillip Russell.

The Greenwich Time article said that according to the lawsuit, Atkinson used his status to isolate boys and assault them frequently at the Boys’ Club facility on Horseneck Lane, as well as at Camp Simmons, Island Beach and the Greenwich Polo Field.

The Boys and Girls Club issued a statement on Saturday saying the Club’s leadership takes the accusations very seriously and that the Club and legal counsel are working to investigate the allegations.

“Of paramount importance is the need to make sure that the parents of our current members are aware of and comfortable with, our policies and protocols when it comes to our children’s safety,” the Club said in the statement. “We have a full-time Director of Safety onsite, numerous cameras strategically placed throughout the premises, and regular staff training and development with regard to the safety of our children.”

Further statement explained that the Club conducts background checks on all employees and long-term volunteers.

An additional statement issued by Bobby Walker, Jr, the club’s CEO sought to reassure parents and families that Club kids remain in a safe and nurturing environment.

“We have a Director of Safety, who you see daily in the hallways of the Club and the parking lot during pick-up; we have cameras in many locations in the building; and we continuously train and develop our staff regarding the safety of your children,” Walker wrote.

“In addition, we conduct background checks on all employees and long-term volunteers. I am proud to say that our staff is extremely dedicated and committed to the development and well-being of your children, and we are fortunate to have them on our team.”

According to the Greenwich Time piece, a trial conference for the lawsuit is scheduled for March 15 at Stamford Superior Court and a jury trial is tentatively scheduled for June 2020.