Sexual abuse is becoming a more important topic than ever. And it can be dispiriting to hear when a lifeguard has been charged with perpetrating such acts. But these incidents also can serve as lessons for those wishing to protect their own clients.

Here, we have the case of a 31-year-old former lifeguard who met an underage client, then socialized with the minor away from the aquatics center, which the prosecutor characterized as a grooming period before engaging in sexual activities. Because the judge deemed this person dangerous to society, they went above the normal state sentencing guidelines and gave the former lifeguard 13 years in prison.

The incident illustrates the importance of setting ground rules of behavior for aquatics center staffers. And, as experts explain in "How to Safeguard Children from Sexual Abuse in Your Facility," one of the core rules should state that staffers should not interact with underage clients away from the facility.

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