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YMCA reveals details about former employee accused of sexual assault

The YMCA removed Jordan Cortez from his job as an elementary school A+ program leader on Jan. 17, immediately upon learning of allegations of sexual assault against him, according to the head of the YMCA.

Michael Broderick, president and CEO of the YMCA of Honolulu, said today that Cortez had passed background checks annually until his employment was terminated at the after-school program.

Cortez was indicted on Thursday on eight counts of sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl in 2016. Deputy Prosecutor Loren Haugen said in court that Cortez had known the girl since she was eight years old and he was her leader in the A+ program at Ewa Elementary School while she was in second grade.

“These are very serious and devastating allegations,” Broderick said in a statement. “The safety of children in our programs is always our highest priority.”

“Very significantly, it was, and is our understanding that the investigation did not involve any current A+ after-school program participants at Ewa Elementary School; and at the time of the alleged assault, the victim was not an A+ student,” he said in a statement.

He said the Y conducted background and fingerprint checks on Cortez, as it does for all YMCA A+ staff, including annual Mandatory Child Care Provider and DHS’s Child Abuse/Neglect Background Checks.

“Safety has been, and always will be, our top priority,” Broderick said. “We regularly review our policies and procedures to make sure they are as strong as they can be. Our thoughts and prayers go to out the family involved.”

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