COLUMBUS, Ohio — More former employees of Cedar Point have come forward with allegations they were sexually assaulted or harassed while working at the amusement park.
A joint investigation between 10 Investigates and our sister stations – WTOL in Toledo and WKYC in Cleveland – has uncovered 28 reports of sexual assaults tied to employee dorms dating back to 2017.
The latest alleged sexual assault was reported to Sandusky Police on May 24.
A copy of the report reviewed by 10 Investigates shows the incident occurred in employee housing.
10 Investigates, WTOL and WKYC have conducted interviews with nearly a dozen former employees who told us they were victimized or worked with others who were.
Three of the employees say they were discouraged from reporting these incidents to Cedar Point officials – something park officials deny.
Erin McKay told 10 Investigates by phone that she was sexually harassed, groped and later raped during an encounter in the employee dorms.
McKay described how after being sexually assaulted inside an employee dorm by a co-worker in 2017, she was fearful of telling anyone because she was worried she would get in trouble because she was underage and not allowed to stay in the dorms.
McKay says she later reported the incident to the head of human resources at Cedar Point.
“I was told it was my fault for being in the dorms too late. That was all that came of that,” McKay said.
Another employee, Brittany Dunlap, told our reporting partners at WTOL in Toledo that she was recently fired from Cedar Point after reporting she had been sexually harassed by another employee.
“HR came in on Saturday after I worked. And she told me that, that yeah, it was inappropriate behavior, that it was sexual harassment, and that that behavior isn't appropriate, but he was a team leader and they cannot afford to lose the team leads at the moment,” Dunlap said.
In a statement, a Cedar Point spokesman said this:
“The safety of our guests and associates is at the forefront of everything we do. While we do not comment on specific personnel matters as we protect the privacy of our associates, we feel it is important to reiterate that every associate who feels unsafe in any way is welcome, without exception, to discuss with management. In no way are any associates discouraged from escalating any situation that may make them feel uncomfortable.
Our safety programs and resources are robust. Our housing is monitored 24/7 with multiple resources available to all associates, including on-site security, an emergency texting program, a dedicated and confidential associate “Speak-Up Hotline,” and access to mental health programs.
Cedar Point takes these matters very seriously. All reports of associate misconduct are immediately responded to, reviewed, and if appropriate, escalated to local law enforcement for further investigation, and all reports related to alleged sexual assault are available through Sandusky PD.”
That statement sits in conflict with what these employees have told us.
The statement followed recent attempts by 10 Investigates, WKYC and WTOL to get information from Cedar Point officials.
Last week, a WKYC reporter visited the home of a Cedar Point housing official, but there was no response. A WTOL reporter also emailed the company’s CEO.
The statement from the park spokesman arrived after those attempts. So too did a letter from an attorney saying that he represents the housing official and other employees.
The letter says they won’t comment on issues “that may impact current litigation…”
WTOL and 10 Investigates have left repeated messages for the attorney but have not heard back.
Another former employee interviewed by WTOL says she was raped in the employee dorms in 1994.
The woman, who we are not identifying, said that she was fired after the encounter because she was 18 and had been drinking in the dorms. She also became pregnant from the incident and later gave birth to her son.
“I feel angry at Cedar Point because very still putting kids in danger and they're still not doing anything to change it and I am living proof of what happened to me,” the woman said.
10 Investigates took additional questions to State Rep. D.J. Swearingen, R- Huron, who represents that area in the Ohio legislature.
We asked him if he planned to call Cedar Point officials. He said right now he was interested in allowing law enforcement to investigate and for local city officials to make inquiries with Cedar Point officials.
10 Investigates asked: “As a large employer of that area though, shouldn’t they be better stewards of their employees if they come to them with complaints and say this happened to me rather than what these victims say happened which was that they fell on deaf ears?”
“I would like to hear the other side from Cedar Point, I’d like to hear the full story before I myself make a judgment. To the extent, those claims or complaints rather fell on deaf ears, that would be unfortunate, but again I’d like to hear all sides of the story and a full investigation be thoroughly completed before anyone jump to conclusions.” Rep. Swearingen said.
10 Investigates still wants to hear from Cedar Point officials. The invitation is still open for them to conduct an on-camera interview.
10 Investigates has also learned the city of Sandusky has been holding meetings with Cedar Point officials to address these concerns.
We’ve also asked for copies of any additional incidents that Cedar Point’s own police department may have investigated. We haven’t yet heard back.
If you are a former or current employee and have a story about Cedar Point or something else you’d like us to investigate, please contact 10 Investigates at 10Investigates@10tv.com.