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YMCA counselor accused of child molestation

A YMCA counselor is now under arrest accused of molesting at least five young girls in an after-school and summer program. One of the victims is as young as six years old.

Thirty-five-year-old Christopher Dean Thomas of Indio is being held on one million dollars bail.

He's worked part-time for the YMCA since November. The "Y" tells us he was also a "Big Brother" for "Big Brothers Big Sisters."

Cathedral City investigators say they got information over the weekend that Thomas had sexually abused a number of girls at the "Y"s River Canyon site.
The "Y" says they pulled him from the program right away. Thursday, police picked up Thomas from his job at Winco in Indio, questioned him, and eventually made an arrest.

The YMCA's executive director says Thomas passed a background investigation, fingerprint checks, and a thorough screening process.

"It's extremely tough. We feel for the families. We feel for the kids, and for the community, because it becomes an issue of trust. And we do everything we can to help the kids have fun, and make the parents feel comfortable," Rob Ballew, executive director of the Family YMCA of the Desert, said.

Thomas also volunteered at the YMCA in Indio, Palm Springs, Coachella and La Quinta, but the alleged molestation took place in Cathedral City. He was let go by the YMCA Thursday.

The "Y" plans to take letters to parents in english and spanish at the two sites where Thomas worked, explaining what happened and providing resources for parents and children.

Investigators believe there could be other victims.

They are asking anyone with information to call Cathedral City Police.

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