Man charged after boy, 5, touched at Winnipeg pool

A 23-year-old man previously convicted of sexual assault has been charged again after a five-year-old boy was allegedly touched inappropriately at a swimming pool in Winnipeg.

A 23-year-old man previously convicted of sexual assault has been charged again after a five-year-old boy was allegedly touched inappropriately at a swimming pool in Winnipeg.

Officers were called to the St. Vital YMCA-YWCA on April 9.

A woman said her son had been inappropriately touched by the man.

Kent Paterson, chief executive officer of the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg, said his staff called police after learning about the incident.

"The child's mother reported it to our staff, who immediately took steps as they have been trained to do," Paterson told CBC News on Wednesday.

Members of the child abuse unit investigated and laid the charges this week.

"[It's] certainly traumatic, you know, for the victim involved and the family," said Const. Eric Hofley.

"I don't think that there's anything they could have done, or any responsible parent could do, to avoid these types of incidents."

News of the incident shocked YMCA-YWCA patrons like Lillian Binne, who has been going to the St. Vital facility since she was young and later brought her own children there.

"It's disturbing," Binne said, but added that she remains confident the Y is safe and staff there do a good job.

"I always felt confident that they were being looked after," she said.

"I've observed the workers, you know, when they have them in the change room and pool, and they all seem pretty strict and, like, they're teaching them rules."

Convicted of sexual assault in 2012

The 23-year-old, who remains in custody at the Provincial Remand Centre, is also charged with failing to comply with a probation order.

The man had previously been convicted of sexual assault in 2012. He was not sentenced to any jail time, but served 60 days in custody awaiting his trial.

As part of that sentence, the man was ordered to live in a group home run by DASCH, which stands for Direct Action in Support of Community Homes. It provides support for people with developmental disabilities.

The court also ordered him to stay away from places where people under the age of 16 would be expected to be present, including public parks, swimming pools, daycares, school grounds, playgrounds or community centres. He was also ordered to stay away from multi-person washrooms.

The man could attend all these places if a DASCH worker was in the immediate vicinity and had "direct visual supervision."

The man is also on the sex offender registry for 10 years and had to provide a DNA sample.

Paterson said organizations such as DASCH that bring clients to YMCA-YWCA facilities are responsible for the care of those clients.

"We would expect the agency to exercise good judgment, due diligence, and take appropriate steps to either refrain from attending at our facilities, or while in our facilities, to be highly aware and very mindful of the safety of our participants," he said.

Paterson said he has spoken with the head of DASCH and expects a full report on the incident.

DASCH has not yet returned calls from CBC News.