CLARK COUNTY — A new civil suit has been filed against a Jeffersonville man convicted of molesting 20 children at an elementary school and YMCA in Clark County in 2017.
Michael Begin, 21, was convicted in early 2019 of 20 counts of level 4 felony child molestation, related to victims between 3 and 8 years old that Begin was around at after-school programs at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School and the YMCA of Greater Louisville, Clark County branch. He was in the early childhood education program at Jeffersonville High School during the incidents, most of which happened in October 2017.
His charges had reached 27, some alleging multiple incidents with the same child. A plea agreement was reached to drop seven of the charges and following an emotionally-charged sentencing hearing in April 2019, he was sentenced to 120 years with 20 suspended.
His earliest release date is April 20, 2095, according to state records.
Between Feb. 7, 2018, a month after additional charges were levied against Begin, and July of that year, nine civil cases were filed. They all list Begin as a defendant, most also list the YMCA and Greater Clark County Schools Corporation (GCCSC) as responsible parties for the abuse to their children. A few list his family members, specifically his mother who worked for the school system at the time of the crimes.
On March 24, an attorney for one of the families filed a new civil tort, this one listing just Begin and the YMCA as defendants. According to the brief, Begin was in an Early Childhood Development Program at the YMCA getting class credit when in September 2017, he was suspended after allegations that he had molested a child. The suspension included striking him from the Greater Clark program with the YMCA and his employment.
But the latest filing, like several of the others, say the YMCA failed in not properly notifying Greater Clark of the allegations and suspension, which allowed more children to be molested the following month.
“Defendant YMCA knew that Michael Begin Jr. would continue to work directly with young children at GCCSC,” according to the complaint. “...YMCA negligently failed to notify GCCSC that he had been suspended from performing his duties with them as part of the Early Childhood Development Practicum due to an allegation of sexual assault of a child.”
It requests judgment against the YMCA in an amount to be proven at trial and for attorney fees to be paid by the company.
Of the nine civil cases filed in 2018, some were combined with multiple victims. Some have been closed due to agreements reached, and at least one is headed for jury trial, scheduled for June in Clark County Circuit Court No. 1.