MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Allegations of years of sexual assault and harassment by an employee of the Maplewood Community Pool came to light on an anonymously run instagram account, @mcpjustice, begun this past week; the employee is currently being investigated for such claims.
MCPJustice's first posts describe the climate and culture of the Maplewood Community Pool as tolerant of sexual harassment and assault. The account also claims that victims have been met with indifference to the point of negligence when they tried to bring the issue to management.
MCPJustice alleges abuse by older male staff members at the pool against teen and young adult employees that has been going on for years. The anonymous quotes seem to all reference the same individual as “*****” who the account later described as a black male. However, they also point out that “he was not the only predator” and “did not discriminate [by race] in his prey.”
The first anonymous victim describes the harassment as having begun when she was 15-years-old.
“He made several sexual comments towards me and even touched me which I wasn’t comfortable with,” she wrote. “His actions have been going on for my 5 years of working at the pool, and he wasn’t the only one.”
A list of demands made by the account include holding sexual assault, misconduct and bias training that employees must complete annually. The employees also ask for a system independent of MCP management where sexual misconduct can be reported and documented.
After an emergency meeting, the Maplewood Township Committee issued an apology and pledged to make sure all complaints are fully investigated. The Township also agreed to provide mandatory anti-harassment and anti-bias training to all township employees including those who are seasonal.
“This was the first predator to get caught,” one Instagram caption says. “ He is one of many.”
MCP will be closing for the year the first week of September and so far there has been one person reprimanded due to allegations; multiple staff members have quit in protest and organized a one-day staff walk out.
The Township Committee’s next virtual meeting is September 1 and the MCPJustice page has already begun calling for their supporters to make sure this issue is addressed.