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Family sues YMCA in sexual abuse case

The mother of two children who were sexually abused by a former community outreach director of the St. Petersburg Family YMCA has filed suit against the agency.

The lawsuit filed on Monday in Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court says the YMCA knew that its former employee, Christopher Lee Allen, previously faced allegations of sexually abusing children in South Carolina before hiring him in 1996. The suit seeks unspecified damages in excess of $15,000.

Allen, 29, was sentenced to nine years in prison in March 2002. He was found guilty of two charges of lewd and lascivious behavior for molesting an 11-year-old girl through his YMCA job. He also pleaded no contest to two other lewd and lascivious counts.

In South Carolina, Allen was charged with lewd and lascivious acts on a 12-year-old girl and a 13-year-old girl. He eventually was acquitted of the charges, but they were still pending when the YMCA hired him.