MANATEE — A 22-year-old sports coordinator at the YMCA was arrested Wednesday on 52 counts of having sexual contact with a minor, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office reports.
Anthony Sessa met the 15-year-old victim over the summer, and the pair had a sexual relationship that lasted almost two months, according to the sheriff's office.
Sheriff's spokesman Dave Bristow said that even though there was consent, “that doesn’t matter in this case,” because of the girl's age. From July, when the pair met, until August, Sessa drove the victim to a motel where they engaged in sex several times, according to the report.
The victim's father helped catch Sessa by engaging him in a phone call monitored by investigators. During that conversation, Sessa admitted to having sexual contact with the victim, the report said.
“He’d been seeing the girl for some time, hence the charges,” Bristow said.
After he was arrested, Sessa admitted that he had sexual contact with the victim at least 52 times and that he knew her age along with the consequences of his actions, according to the report.
Sessa had been working part time at the YMCA's South Manatee branch, 3675 53rd Ave. E. None of the alleged acts occurred at the YMCA. He has been placed on a non-paid suspension and is not allowed back into the YMCA.
“We don’t tolerate egregious personal behavior. The Y is serious about the development of youth and we are saddened by this event, especially for the victim,” said Sean Allison, CEO of the Manatee YMCA. “We will be cooperating fully with authorities on this matter and have already.”
The YMCA does run background checks on all employees and volunteers, Allison said. A check of the Manatee County clerk of court's website showed that Sessa had only been cited for traffic offenses.
Sessa is currently being held without bond in the Manatee County jail.