Gym responds after former employee arrested for child sex assault in Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - 11 News has learned that a man who was working at a local gym is now facing child sex assault charges. He was an employee at VillaSport in Colorado Springs at the time.

Court records show Ryan Callins was arrested in March and was no longer an employee at VillaSport. No one ever alerted the public until 11 News requested public records and started asking questions.

After our story first aired, parents say Colorado Springs police then emailed them saying their kids had once been under the supervision of this now suspect.

The arrest papers for Ryan Callins show he's accused of asking two girls under the age of 9 to touch him inappropriately. The documents say it happened in the activity play area at the gym, and then he allegedly asked the girls not to tell anyone.

According to the arrest affidavit, it happened sometime before December of last year, but police were not made aware of the allegations until March. When police asked the gym for employment records, court documents reveal the gym's manager told detectives to come back with a search warrant. That was on March 6th. On March 20th, police came back to the gym with their warrant. Court records show Ryan Callins was not arrested for another week.

11 News asked police and the gym why no one was notified about this case until after our team gathered information from public records. We tried to get a comment from VillaSport for two days, but never heard back from them. They did release a statement online saying in part, "One of the requests made by the police was that VillaSport keep its investigation confidential....Because we had very little information, we could not have shared anything meaningful with our members even had we chosen to ignore the police department's request."

We've included the full statement from VillaSport below this article. CSPD said they won't comment on the active investigation and they won't release a picture of Ryan Callins until it "won't hamper their investigation." 11 News wants to show his mugshot to parents in case they ever saw him at the gym.

VillaSport released this statement on their Facebook page Friday:

We are reaching out to the VillaSport community to address a recent news report about suspected child abuse and to answer questions asked by members.

Yesterday, KKTV aired a news story about criminal charges filed recently against a former VillaSport employee, Ryan Callins, who is alleged to have behaved inappropriately towards two girls in VillaKids. The story implied that VillaSport did not cooperate with the police and was irresponsible in not advising our members about Mr. Callins’ behavior. Both suggestions are untrue.

When the police first informed VillaSport in March 2019 about its investigation into Mr. Callins, we advised the police that Mr. Callins no longer worked at VillaSport, as his employment ended back in 2018. The police then provided us with a warrant for Mr. Callins’ personnel file and other information. We complied immediately and has promptly responded to all requests made since by the police.

One of the requests made by the police was that VillaSport keep its investigation confidential. Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, the police intentionally shared very little information with us. For example, we were never told when or where the inappropriate behavior occurred or which children were involved. (We still do not have this information.) Because we had very little information, we could not have shared anything meaningful with our members even had we chosen to ignore the police department’s request. For these reasons--and out of respect for the ongoing investigation—we have kept this matter confidential.

When KKTV approached the police and VillaSport yesterday seeking comment, the police urged KKTV not to run the story, as it might interfere with their investigation. KKTV refused.

We want to assure our members that we take our responsibility to safeguard the children in our care very seriously. For that reason, we conduct background and fingerprint checks as mandated by law, we have a Youth Protection Policy that all employees are trained on and must abide by, and we maintain close supervision (including via cameras) of all employee interactions with children in VillaKids. The current matter involving Mr. Callins has reinforced our determination to provide the safest possible environment in VillaKids. We have reviewed all of our policies and procedures and have committed to more frequent training in order to prevent a recurrence of what is alleged to have happened in our club.

We hope this addresses the concerns raised by our VillaKids families. We promise to be as forthcoming as we can and yet still be respectful of the police department’s investigation. If you have any questions about that investigation, or about your child’s interactions with Mr. Callins, we encourage you to call the police department at 719.444.7000.