Boys & Girls Club To Centralize Volunteer Screening After Rape Case
BLOOMINGTON - Program supervisors at the Bloomington-Normal Boys and Girls Club will no longer be responsible for screening their own volunteers. That change comes after a Boys and Girls Club volunteer serving community service for a domestic violence conviction was charged with raping a teenage girl.
CEO Tony Morstatter told GLT's Charlie Schlenker volunteer screening is now being done by the club’s operations manager.
“It’s just a matter of making sure us centralizing the process and going through one person that we can monitor that and make sure that hose processes are abided by,” Morstatter said.
“So did this guy slip through the cracks somehow?” Schlenker asked.
“I would say it appears to be,” Morstatter conceded.
Julius Scott, 23, was charged on July 9 with criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse for allegedly sexually assaulting a club member in November. He's being held in the McLean County Jail on a $500,000 bond as he awaits trial.
Morstatter added the club’s existing policies should have prevented someone with such a criminal history from volunteering, so there wasn't a need to dramatically change its volunteer policy.
“There’s not much that’s new in the policy,” Morstatter said. “It’s a matter of just monitoring what we are doing, making sure that the policies we have in place are enforced.”
Mostatter says the club worked with 400 volunteers last year without any problems. He said volunteers are never supposed to be alone with club members.
The volunteer changes come as the club prepares to kick off a major fund drive for a new clubhouse in Sunnyside Park in Bloomington. Morstatter added the club’s reputation has taken a hit in the eyes of some, but club families and the public have been supportive.
“There are people in the community that are concerned as well as we are, but we want to reassure the community that the safety of our members is our number one priority.”
WGLT depends on financial support from users to bring you stories and interviews like this one. As someone who values experienced, knowledgeable, and award-winning journalists covering meaningful stories in Central Illinois, please consider making a contribution.