June 24, 2018
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Penobscot Nation officials investigate allegations of ‘inappropriate behavior’ by Boys & Girls Club member

By Nick McCrea, BDN Staff

INDIAN ISLAND, Maine — The Penobscot Indian Nation’s Boys & Girls Club and police are investigating allegations of “inappropriate behavior involving a youth club member and another youth,” the club’s board of directors said in a statement released Wednesday.

A sign on the door of the club’s facilities late Wednesday afternoon states that the club is temporarily closed.

Benjamin Collings, chairman of the board of directors, said “the accused youth is prohibited from attending any programs or activities” held by the club until the investigation into the accusations is complete.

“The safety and well-being of the young people we serve remains our No. 1 priority and we will not tolerate alleged inappropriate or illegal behavior on the part of staff, volunteers or Club members,” Collings wrote.

Collings said the Boys & Girls Club requires background checks of all employees and volunteers who have direct contact with the youths they serve. He said the group also “offers a variety of prevention programs for club members, ages 6 to 18, to help them resist negative peer pressure.”

Collings said the Boys & Girls Club was working closely with tribal leaders and referred further questions to police.

Penobscot Nation Police Chief Robert Bryant referred questions to Penobscot Nation Tribal Chief Kirk Francis, who did not respond to calls seeking comment.

Carla Knapp, the chief professional officer for the Boys & Girls Club, also did not return phone messages requesting comment Wednesday.

The Boys & Girls Club on Indian Island was founded in 2000. The club is staffed by eight employees who host and organize activities for more than 200 members, according to the club’s website.

The club serves both members of the tribe and nonmembers.

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