Teen counselor-in-training arrested in molestation of 9-year-old

by: Kevin McCarty Updated:

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FIFE, Wash. - Fife police have arrested a 14-year-old counselor-in-training in the molestation of a 9-year-old attending a summer day camp.

Fife police Cmdr. Tim Floyd said the teenager was arrested Friday while attending a junior counselor training program at Columbia Junior High school in Fife. "Horrible, horrible" said Jeanine Mukai, a mother picking up her kids at the camp today.

The city's parks and recreation department conducts several summer day camps at the school during the summer months for children ages 6 to 12. The camp is not associated with the Fife Public School District.

City spokeswoman Laurel Potter said the teenager's parents had paid for him to attend a four-day class to become a camp counselor. Late last week another child passed a note to a counselor at the camp complaining of inappropriate conduct by the boy. Fife police were notified and the teenager was arrested at the school and booked into juvenile detention at Remann Hall in Tacoma. Pierce County prosecuting attorney Mark Lindquist said the boy has been charged with first-degree child molestation.

"Makes me sad, sick" said Kristy Blonden, whose child is attending a theater camp at the school. "I'm kind of processing it right now" said Blonden.

Potter said the city runs criminal background checks on all counselors and employees working at the summer day camps, but does not check the backgrounds of kids attending the junior counselor in training classes.