Parks & Rec employee charged with sexual assault of 16-year-old girl at John B. Kelly pool

- Police have arrested a man they say is responsible for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl. 

The head of Philadelphia's Parks and Recreation Department admits 35-year-old Michael Daniels should have been "no where near" the John Kelly Pool in mid-July when he's accused of groping a 16-year-old female lifeguard.

"Do you think this mistake exposed a 16-year-old to a criminal offense that never should have happened?" FOX 29's Jeff Cole asked. Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell replied, "I can't speak to that."

Speaking to FOX 29 from a conference in Detroit, Kathryn Ott Lovell says her agency violated its own rules by allowing Daniels to work around children before his criminal background check had come back from the state.

"I am deeply troubled and concerned by this situation we are currently undergoing administrative review for obtaining those clearances for all seasonal staff," Ott Lovell said.

Daniels is charged with indecent assault, contact with and corruption of a minor—2 felony counts—from mid-July to mid-August at the city pool in Fairmount Park. 

His attorney says the claims are "fabricated" by the lifeguard who his client "disciplined."

"In cases like this sometimes there's more than one victim we don't know about," Philadelphia Captain Sekou Kinebrew said.

A check of Daniels' history shows a troubled past, one likely to have barred him from work around kids. In August of 2015, he pleaded guilty to indecent exposure and sentenced to 2 years probation. In late 2009, Daniels got a maximum 5 year prison term for robbery.  He's pleaded guilty to criminal mischief, unauthorized use of an auto and extortion. His criminal history runs several pages.   A past the parks and rec. commissioner has not seen.

"Would he have passed a test have you looked at his background?" Cole asked. Ott Lovell replied, "I have not looked at his background, so I can't speak to that."

Mayor Kenney says Daniels was approved for the 2013/2014 summer seasons, but not for this one.

Ott Lovell says she'll work to keep this from happening again. The mayor says this incident will not cost the commissioner her job.

 

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In – includes Advertiser Stories