Investigation launched into alleged child sexual abuse at Fort Meade center

Posted at 5:24 PM, Nov 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-08 19:24:10-05
From Joe Johns and Barbara Starr


WASHINGTON (CNN) — The FBI has launched an investigation into an alleged incident of child sexual abuse at a facility that provides services to children of civilian and military personnel who work at the Army’s Fort Meade in Maryland.

At present, there is one known allegation concerning the Youth Center, according to Chad Jones, spokesman for the installation that lies between Washington and Baltimore.

But officials are sending hundreds of letters to families whose children might have come in contact with an unidentified civilian man who worked at the center from 2005 until his resignation in 2012. They are publicizing the case to see whether others may come forward, Jones said Friday.

The man’s position was not immediately known, but Jones said “he worked with kids.”

A town hall meeting for families is scheduled for Thursday.

Mary Doyle, also with public affairs at Fort Meade, told CNN that the center generally serves children in grades 6-8 through sports programs and non-athletic activities, such as computer labs and arts and crafts. On weekends, younger children occasionally partake in activities.

About 20 staff members typically are at the center when activities under way, Doyle said. The Youth Center is not a school.

Schools at Fort Meade are operated by Maryland’s Anne Arundel County Public Schools. The employee in question had no connection to any of the schools, she said.

A 24-hour family hotline has been set up for anyone who has more questions for base officials.

The FBI said it would have no comment. Civilian law enforcement alerted Fort Meade to the alleged incident, officials said.

George Wright with Army public affairs said the FBI is leading the investigation because the allegation involves a federal facility.

“Fort Meade is fully cooperating with the FBI’s investigation and is providing support to families as necessary,” he said in a statement.

CNN’s Larry Shaughnessy contributed to this report.

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