Montco camp director charged with not reporting allegation

Ryan Wexelblatt ran Montco camp; child said he was attacked.
Ryan Wexelblatt ran Montco camp; child said he was attacked.
Posted: August 02, 2013

The director of a summer camp in Upper Perkiomen has been charged with failing to report suspected child abuse that occurred under his watch, authorities said Wednesday.

Ryan Wexelblatt, 41, of Narberth, was charged with misdemeanor counts of a mandated reporter who failed to report, unsworn falsification to authorities, and obstruction of justice.

Wexelblatt is listed in an online brochure as the founder and director of Camp Sequoia in Pennsburg, "an overnight camp for boys ages 8-17 who need help developing their social skills."

The tuition for the full summer of the camp, whose slogan is "confidence, friendship, character," is $9,400.

Upper Perkiomen police received information via Crime Stoppers Internet tip line that a child had been sexually assaulted by two other children at the camp. All three children are 13 years old.

The tipster said Wexelblatt knew about the assault, but had not reported it to authorities, according to a statement from police and the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office.

A joint investigation showed that during the overnight hours July 4, a camper told counselors that he was assaulted in his room. Those counselors told the senior counselor, who immediately passed the information on to Wexelblatt early July 5.

Authorities said Wexelblatt briefly interviewed all the children said to be involved in the incident. He then told the senior counselor to drive the two children who were accused of the assault to the Philadelphia airport so they could return to their home states. He did not report the allegations to police or to a child protective services representative, investigators found, nor did he tell employees to make a report to authorities.

"As a camp director, he is a mandated reporter of child abuse," said Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman.

"Everybody on the camp staff did what they were supposed to," she said, referring to the child's telling counselors and the counselors telling their supervisors.

"But the buck stops at the director of the camp," Ferman said, who does not get to decide the merits of the allegation.

"We have no comment at this time," said Michael Drossner, Wexelblatt's attorney.

Wexelblatt was arraigned before District Judge Catherine M. Hummel Fried and was released on his own recognizance. A preliminary hearing for him was set for Sept. 12.

Authorities are investigating the sexual-assault allegation.


Contact Carolyn Davis at 610-313-8109 or cdavis@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @carolyntweets.

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