At the Kate Jackson Community Center, officiating soccer games, directing dance class and counting heads are some of the duties of summer camp counselors.
But police say two teenage counselors used their authority very differently.
This week, the Tampa Police Department accused assistant counselors Demario R. Sanders and O'Shaun J. Young of leading adolescent campers into empty equipment rooms and forcing them to have sex.
The counselors, both 18, were hired under a program to help disadvantaged job seekers and had worked only two weeks at the 11-week summer recreation program in central Hyde Park. But during their short stint with responsibility, police say, the two worked together to pressure a pair of female campers, one 12, the other 13, to have sex with them.
Sanders stood guard in front of an unused athletic equipment room on the camp's grounds on June 26 while Young had sex with the 12-year-old camper, said Sgt. Jane Castor of Tampa police's sex crimes unit. The next day, Sanders tried to have sex with the other camper but she resisted, Castor said.
Shortly after the incidents, counselors began to hear rumors from campers about Sanders and Young, said camp manager Pat Fowler.
"We were pretty surprised to hear those things because we have never had any camper/counselor problems like this," said Fowler who has run the Kate Jackson camp for the past eight years.
Tampa police were notified July 16, and after interviewing the victims, other campers and camp staff, police arrested both Sanders and Young at their homes July 22. Sanders, 3108 N Ybor St., is charged with one count of sexual battery and two counts of attempted sexual battery; he was being held in the Hillsborough County Jail on $150,000 bail. Young, 3618 E Caracas Ave., is charged with two counts of sexual battery and is jailed on $100,000 bail.
Both suspects were placed at the camp by Tampa's Private Industry Council, through a program matching economically disadvantaged job seekers with employers, said Joe Abrahams, the city recreation chief.