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3News Investigates: Cedar Point sexual assault reports called 'horrifying' and 'disturbing'

Bipartisan lawmakers in Ohio are railing against the popular amusement park, demanding that workers be protected from abuse.

SANDUSKY, Ohio — To reach 3News Investigates, you can email the team at: investigate@wkyc.com

A bipartisan slate of lawmakers have come out against Cedar Point over allegations from former workers who say they were sexually assaulted inside the park’s employee dorms.

The panel includes Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Sen. Sherrod Brown, Attorney General Dave Yost, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, and gubernatorial candidate, former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.

Their responses come following a week-long series by 3News Investigates that focused on over two dozen recent reports of sexual assaults.

Brown issued the first statement, saying Cedar Point has a duty to protect its workers.

“These reports are horrifying – Cedar Point must do everything within its power to investigate this," he said. "Companies have a responsibility to make sure that seasonal workers who live in employee housing are safe, both on and off the clock.”

A 3News Investigates series this week examined 27 reports of sexual assault filed with Sandusky police since 2017. The cases involve women who worked and lived in the Cedar Park dorms, where the offenses occurred.

 Records show police charged only three people, all coworkers of the accusers. In 15 other cases, the women dropped their charges for reasons that remain unclear.

In addition to Sandusky police, Cedar Point employs its own officers. Records show the park police being initially involved in many of the cases investigated by Sandusky detectives.

Cedar Point, however, refuses to release any police reports taken by its officers. Those records are considered public under Ohio law.

“These reports are deeply troubling. Criminal justice is no private matter,” Yost said in a statement Friday.

Cedar Point has declined repeated requests to discuss the allegations. They’ve instead stood by a statement in which they say they take worker safety seriously and they report all serious crimes to law enforcement.

DeWine offered resources to help Cedar Point, if needed.

“Reports of sexual assault are very serious and should always be treated as such,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “As a former county prosecutor and attorney general, I have worked with many victims of crime and know the importance of thorough, timely sexual assault investigations, which is why I created an initiative that analyzed thousands of previously untested rape kits to help get justice for survivors.”

Whaley complimented the efforts of 3News Investigates, and its sister stations in Toledo and Columbus, “for your reporting on this topic.”

"These allegations are deeply disturbing and horrifying. I'm calling on Cedar Point to conduct a full investigation and do everything in its power to guarantee that its employees are provided a safe environment, both while at work and off the clock."

Several women say Cedar Point was aware of their attacks, but failed to offer counseling or other assistance. Some have been critical of police and Prosecutor Kevin Baxter, for not taking their cases more seriously.

“The reports of violence against Cedar Point’s seasonal workers are tragic and disturbing,” said Kaptur. “The courageous survivors who have now come forward should never have been exposed to harm in the workplace or corporate provided housing. Every worker is owed an environment where their safety and wellbeing is taken seriously.

“Cedar Point must withhold no effort in making the changes necessary to ensure a safe workplace and safe housing for its workforce.”

LINKS TO 3NEWS INVESTIGATES' CEDAR POINT REPORTING:

VIDEOS OF OUR REPORTING:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

At 3News, we are committed to sharing the stories that matter most to you. That means recognizing real problems and offering real solutions. 

Is there an issue in your community that you feel we need to be aware of? Share it with our 3Investigates team via the form below.

 We’ll work to find answers to your questions, verify the truth, help you make informed decisions because what’s important to you, matters to us.

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