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Sailing coach taught at YMCA

(Update)A local sailing coach accused of sexually assaulting young boys is spending the weekend in jail until his next court appearance.  And concern about his activities has spread beyond the clubs where Sean Hewson taught sailing.  It’s now reaching into the “Y” — where he was a lifesaving instructor.The YMCA of Hamilton-Burlington-Brantford says Hewson taught swimming and lifesaving for seven years at the Y —  much of the time at the Burlington Y but also at other YMCA pools in their area.They say there were never any complaints and he passed the mandatory criminal background checks — the latest just last year.But after seeing the news that Hewson had been arrested they called the Halton police.Jim Commerford/YMCA CEO: “First we reached out to Halton Police, to say we read the story. We realize this largely relates to his experience in sailing but you should be aware that he has worked for the YMCA and we’d like to support, will support, the police investigation however we can.”31-year-old Hewson from Ancaster taught sailing at the Burlington Sailing Club at Lasalle Park and lately the Bronte Harbour Yacht Club.Police have charged him with 16 counts of sexual assault accusing him of sexually assaulting four boys from the Burlington Club when they were between the ages of 13 and 16.Police say the incidents go as far back as 2003. And they expect more victims to come forward.The YMCA says it’s acting out of concern for the safety of children, and has suspended Hewson from his lifesaving instructor duties.It’s also writing to the families of people he taught swimming and lifesaving.Jim said: “And we will be preparing correspondence to be sent to them so that they are aware of the charges facing this, Mr. Hewson, and we recommend that if they do have any concerns or worries or complaints that they immediately contact Halton Police.”Hewson appeared in court today in Milton. He’s being held by the police until his next appearance on Tuesday. The Bronte Harbour Yacht Club has also put Hewson on a leave of absence. And it has scheduled a meeting with parents for next Wednesday. read more

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