Mom sues Boys & Girls Club after sex assault against son

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published December 1, 2015




A Sterling Heights woman has filed suit against the Boys & Girls Club of Troy after Aaron Massey, a former employee there, was convicted Nov. 19 in a jury trial in Oakland County Circuit Court on three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with her 10-year-old son.

Massey’s attorney, S. Wesley Compton, had no comment.

Judge Martha Anderson is scheduled to sentence Massey Dec. 17. He faces up to 15 years in prison.

In court documents filed Nov. 20, the Sterling Heights woman alleges negligence on the part of the Boys & Girls Club of Troy, stating that the organization did not supervise Massey  and took no reasonable precautions to ensure children were safe. The incidents occurred between June 2012 and June 2014.

The suit also alleges assault and battery and emotional distress, seeking damages in excess of $25,000.

According to court documents, the boy had attended the Boys & Girls Club of Troy since he was 6 years old and “started having meltdowns in May, June and July of 2014.”

The suit, assigned to Judge Michael Warren, states that the boy eventually told his parents what Massey did to him. According to the suit, Massey would take him into a room, claiming he wanted to talk about bullying, but instead would “then push Plaintiff against the desk and gyrate his hips against Plaintiff’s buttocks, which happened on three occasions.”

The Sterling Heights woman, after learning of the assaults, brought her son to a psychologist for evaluation, who notified Child Protective Services, and criminal charges were brought against Massey.

Attorney Sarah Thomas, who is representing the Sterling Heights woman, said the case had to go through discovery and that she has no further comment.

“The Boys & Girls Club of Troy has been notified of the conviction of its former employee and the related lawsuit that has been filed. The organization has cooperated fully with local law enforcement authorities throughout the investigation and will continue to cooperate with the judicial process related to this case,” Jeff Evans, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Troy, said in a statement.

“As soon as the allegations came to our attention, the employee was immediately removed from any contact with youth and banned from the property. The employee has subsequently been terminated and is barred from any access to Boys & Girls Club facilities and programs. The safety and protection of the children we serve is the No. 1 priority of the Boys & Girls Club of Troy. Our organization is committed to the highest standards of ethical behavior and integrity, and does not tolerate inappropriate or illegal activity on the part of any club staff, volunteer or youth member. All employees and volunteers must undergo a thorough criminal background check.  All supervisory policies are designed to ensure the maximum safety and protection of club members and staff. We will continue our full cooperation with the authorities until the judicial process has been completed.”

Evans said all employees complete background checks annually, and added that Massey was also employed by the Troy School District.

Kerry Birmingham, community and media relations director for the Troy School District, said Massey was listed as a substitute health care aide with a company that contracted staff for the district. She couldn’t give any specific dates or school buildings where he was employed in the district, but she said “it was entirely possible that he was in one or more of our schools on a given day.”

She noted there was no report of any wrongdoing in the Troy School District and said the district cooperated fully with the police investigation.

Troy police Sgt. Meghan Lehman said that after the police put out a press release asking for other victims to come forward, two other victims, ages 12 and 13, came forward. She said the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office made the decision not to prosecute Massey for additional charges, and said all three victims testified at Massey’s trial.

“This boy is a hero,” Lehman said. “He came forward and exposed an individual and got him away from working with children so there could be no other victims.”