The Arlington Boys & Girls Club said Thursday that it has discovered multiple allegations that a former and now deceased employee sexually abused children at the club between the 1970s and 1990s.
The allegations of sexual abuse are against William Sullivan of West Roxbury, who passed away more than a decade ago and who worked at the club from 1964 to 2002, according to information released by the club Thursday.
A former club member brought an allegation to the organization’s attention in late 2011, and the club said it hired someone to investigate before it informed Arlington police of that and additional allegations on Jan. 8.
Arlington Police Department Chief Fred Ryan said the alleged victims are now adults, but would not disclose what gender they are.
“We were recently made aware of these allegations, and we have launched our own investigation,” Ryan said.
In a letter to members and friends, the club said it hired a third party to conduct an independent investigation after the former club member raised the allegations.
During the investigation, the club said in its letter that it was “deeply troubled to discover that similar allegations of abuse had been made concerning Mr. Sullivan.”
The club, located on Pond Lane in Arlington, informed Arlington police and the Middlesex district attorney’s office at the conclusion of its investigation and pledged its cooperation with authorities.
Derek Curran, the club’s executive director, declined further comment about the allegations Thursday.
Ryan said a Boston Herald obituary for Sullivan said he died in June 2002, lived in West Roxbury, and had been the program director of the club.
Because Sullivan is dead, Ryan said, if information the club provided to police is true, there may not be any prosecutable crimes in connection with the allegations.
But he said police will make their own determination during their investigation.
In its letter to the member community Thursday, the club said that even though the allegations being investigated concern events that happened many years ago, the club has reviewed its policies and procedures to ensure that it is a safe place for children today.
The club hired a consultant to revise and enhance is policies and procedures for handling allegations of child abuse, and it expanded its background check policy for employees and volunteers.
The organization and authorities are encouraging anyone with information related to the allegations to contact the Middlesex district attorney’s child abuse unit at 781-897-8400.
They can also contact the Arlington Police Department at 781-643-1212.