Allegations of sexual misconduct at YMCA Malta have been deemed “fake” by the Voluntary Organisations Commissioner, who said the claims appear to have been part of a frame-up.
Two YMCA employees - the worker named in the abuse claim as well as the organisation’s CEO - have now been reinstated.
The Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations, Jesmond Saliba, announced the end of his office's investigation into the claims in a statement issued on Saturday.
“These fake allegations aimed wholly to build a frame-up and directed towards character assassination of said victims,” Saliba said.
Saliba had announced last March that he had received a report of sexual misconduct concerning a top YMCA official. He said at the time that he had also informed the police of the report.
The claims were never made public, though they are understood to have focused on alleged abuse carried out by a staff member which was ignored by senior management.
Sources at the time had said the claim was made by a former YMCA staff member.
After receiving the abuse report, Commissioner Saliba had appointed an administrator, Charles Cassar, to run the NGO until an investigation into the allegations was concluded.
Weeks later, Saliba said it appeared YMCA had all the necessary safeguards in place to handle such allegations.
He also introduced new rules that require all registered voluntary organisations to report all allegations of abuse to his office. The rules are intended to ensure that all such allegations are communicated to the police.
On Saturday, Saliba’s office said the investigation into YMCA was concluded.
The statement noted that the original claim was made by a person with a “fake identity” and that investigators had concluded that the claims were unfounded.
“No incidents of sexual misconduct were found to any ongoings at YMCA,” Saliba said.
“An operational review carried by the OCVO also showed that YMCA has very good policies in place on several areas, including safeguarding issues, both in terms of taking care of victims and in terms of establishing the veracity of allegations.”
“These measures and their effective implementation by the senior management of YMCA were key for the OCVO to re-instate the organisation’s compliance within a few days from when the serious allegations which resulted in a fabrication were received by the OCVO.”