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Mom sues Troy youth club after son sexually assaulted

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Pontiac — The mother of a 10-year-old boy repeatedly sexually assaulted by an employee inside the Boys and Girls Club of Troy last year is suing the worker and the club.

The Sterling Heights woman is alleging negligence by the popular youth club in failing to provide appropriate care of her son and not adequately supervising the staff member, Aaron Massey, 34, of Hamtramck.

She is also alleging assault and battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress to her son who had been attending activities at the club since he was 6 years old.

“Fortunately, the boy came forward and told his mother what had happened,” Troy Police Sgt. Meghan Lehman said. “After we put out a press release regarding the assaults, two other victims came forward with similar reports regarding Massey.”

An Oakland Circuit Court jury earlier this month found Massey guilty as charged of three counts of second-degree criminal sexual assault (involving a person under 13 years old by a person 17 years old or older). The offense is felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Massey, who remains in the Oakland County Jail, will be sentenced Dec. 17 by Judge Martha D. Anderson. Lehman said the prosecutor’s office made a decision not to go forward with the cases involving two other victims, aged 12 and 13 years old, who also went to the same club on John R. Both boys testified at Massey’s trial.

Massey’s trial attorney was unavailable for comment Monday, according to his law office.

The lawsuit, assigned to Judge Michael Warren, seeks in excess of $25,000 in damages on the boy’s behalf for his “past, present and future injury.”

It is the policy of The Detroit News not to publish the names of sexual assault victims.

According to the lawsuit, in May 2014 the 10-year-old boy’s behavior began to change and he started having “meltdowns in May, June and July of 2014.”

The boy said Massey would take him into an enclosed office, where no other youth or employees were present, to “talk to him about bullying” according to the complaint.

The lawsuit, filed in Oakland Circuit Court, said that at least three times during the spring and summer of 2014, Massey would push the boy against a desk in the enclosed room and “gyrate his hips” against the boy’s buttocks. During the incidents Massey allegedly “made an intentional and unlawful threat to do bodily injury” to the boy by molesting him, according to the complaint.

After learning of her son’s claims, the mother took him to be evaluated by a psychologist who in turn notified Child Protective Services and criminal charges were brought against Massey in December.

“We are still doing discovery but have learned that paper or something had been taped across the window glass on the door to the room and when it was closed, no one could see what was going on inside,” said attorney Sarah Thomas, who has filed the lawsuit.

Police and Thomas said they had no information of Massey having any criminal history.

The club, which immediately fired Massey when notified of the charges last year, issued statements that they had no prior information or reason to suspect Massey of any improper conduct. A club spokesperson could not be reached for comment Monday.

mmartindale@detroitnews.com

(248) 338-0319