www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-fort-meade-child-sexual-abuse-20131108,0,1889018.story

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FBI investigating alleged child sex abuse at Fort Meade youth center

Employee left Meade in 2012; Army secretary orders review of all youth programs

By Matthew Hay Brown, The Baltimore Sun

6:59 PM EST, November 8, 2013

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The FBI is investigating allegations of child sexual abuse by a former employee of the Fort Meade Youth Center, a spokeswoman for the Army base said Friday.

Authorities did not identify the man.

Base spokeswoman Mary Doyle said the suspect left his job at the youth center in 2012. She said the abuse allegedly occurred at the center while he worked there.

The allegations were reported to law enforcement, Doyle said, and the suspect has been banned from the base in Anne Arundel County.

Doyle said she could not say whether there were multiple incidents of alleged abuse or multiple victims. She said base officials wanted to alert families of the allegations so they can speak with their children.

The base has established a 24-hour call center for parents who have questions. They may call 866-454-9414.

FBI Special Agent Richard Wolf, a spokesman for the agency's Baltimore office, confirmed the investigation but declined to comment further.

Doyle said the FBI is leading the investigation because the allegations involve a federal facility. She said the base is cooperating fully with the investigation and providing support to families as necessary.

Doyle said the goals of Fort Meade leaders are to ensure that justice is served, to see that any victim gets the care and counseling he or she needs, and to guard against future abuse.

"We are intent on scrutinizing our policies and procedures to ensure incidents like those that are alleged do not happen again," she said. "The full attention of the garrison staff, including our counselors, our child care professionals and chaplains, is focused on assisting the investigators and ensuring the children in our programs are receiving the care they need."

The Fort Meade Youth Center serves the children of service members and civilian Defense Department employees. It runs after-school programs for children in grades six through eight and programs for children ages 3 to 18 and their families at other times.

Doyle said the center's approximately 20 staff members undergo training on child abuse prevention, first aid and CPR, and other areas.

Army Secretary John McHugh has directed a review of all youth programs to ensure that there is a proper level of supervision and oversight, Doyle said.

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