MILLINGTON, TN (WMC) - A former Millington reserve police officer already serving decades in prison for sex crimes involving children is at the center of new allegations.
Families say a former Millington reserve officer molested their young daughters. The lawsuits accuse the city of Millington, police, and the YMCA of not protecting children from being sexually assaulted.
"He utilized his position of trust as a reserve officer with the Millington Police office to weasel his way into families to assault small children," said attorney Howard Manis with the Cochran Firm, who has filed three lawsuits on behalf of three families.
Manis alleges that Rickie Friar took inappropriate photos of young girls under the age of 10 and assaulted a child at the YMCA pool in Millington. Manis is suing the YMCA, Millington Police Department, and the city of Millington, saying they could have taken action but did not.
Friar is currently serving more than 300 months in a federal penitentiary involving sexual abuse six young girls. Manis said in his cases, Friar would ingratiate himself with the families with single mothers.
"He became friendly more like a grandfather figure, was around," Manis said. "He offered to babysit, ultimately he would start babysitting at his home."
The lawsuits say Millington police should have done a better job of checking out Friar, who was fired from the Shelby County Sheriff's Office for inappropriate conduct with an inmate before going to Millington.
Manis said a lifeguard at the Y noticed Friar's inappropriate conduct with a child at the pool and reported it but nothing was done.
"Absolutely shocking, horrifying that if it is true, no background check on the individual, then a lot of people need to answer," Manis said.
In a statement, the YMCA said it has launched its own independent investigation, but cannot comment on specific details because of the privacy of the people involved.
The Millington Police Department did not want to comment and the city of Millington never got back with us.
Manis expects more families to come forward.