Former YMCA Camp Fitch director facing child porn charges

Local News

Many Valley students have attended Camp Fitch through school programs and field trips

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The former executive director of YMCA’s Camp Fitch is facing child pornography charges.

Court documents show that Matthew Poese is charged with having sexually explicit pictures of children on his cell phone, according to a report by WJW Fox 8 in Cleveland.

YMCA CEO Thomas Gacse said as soon as they learned about the investigation, Poese was suspended and banned from all YMCA properties. His employment has since been terminated.

Gacse said the charge does not allege any misconduct or inappropriate activity with any Camp Fitch camper.

Here is Gacse’s statement in full:

“At Camp Fitch, the safety and wellbeing of children in our care always has been and always will be a top priority. We are aware of the charge against Matt Poese and are deeply disturbed and saddened by his alleged actions. As soon as we learned of this investigation, we suspended his employment and banned him from all our properties. His employment has since been terminated. His last day at Camp was June 19th. We fully supported the FBI during its investigation. The charge does not allege any misconduct or inappropriate activity by Mr. Poese with any Camp Fitch camper. We take our responsibility to children and their families very seriously. We have a series of measures in place to keep kids safe, including thorough background checks on all employees and required staff training on recognizing and preventing child abuse. We also work with Praesidium, renowned authorities and institutional consultants, focused solely on the elimination of child abuse within organizations. All pre-employment checks conducted on Mr. Poese came back clean – he had no previous record or any other cause for concern in his background, nor has he had any disciplinary issues during his tenure with Camp Fitch.” – Thomas M. Gacse, President/CEO YMCA Youngstown.

Poese is scheduled to be in court Aug. 12.

Camp Fitch is a youth camp along Lake Erie in Erie County, Pennsylvania. According to the YMCA Camp Fitch website, the organization offers programs throughout the year, including residential camping for youth and families.

Many students in the Valley have attended Camp Fitch through school programs and field trips.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending on WKBN.com