Geneseo Park District employee arrested on sexual assault, abuse charges

Officers arrested 38-year-old Seth Shipley yesterday

GENESEO, Illinois - A Geneseo Park District employee from is behind bars tonight on charges of sexual assault and abuse. Police say the victim was a minor. 

Officers arrested 38-year-old Seth Shipley yesterday, just days after receiving the initial report of abuse. 

"You kind of think you're insulated in a small town," said Geneseo resident Susan Coleman. "That everybody knows everybody's business and that nothing like this would ever happen."

Coleman said she takes her son to the park's community center and the idea that her son could have interacted with this man shocks her. 

"I'm kind of surprised," she said. "I guess I don't know how much background there was on this man. I'm shocked quite honestly." 

The Geneseo park district said they do background checks on all their employees and that the incident happened outside of the park district. 

But they haven't said what Shipley's position was or to what degree he interacted with children. 

Police aren't releasing those details either. 

Geneseo Police said they've already received several calls from parents. Some are concerns and some are tips for more possible sexual abuse. 

"It is a very tight knit community. Word does get around very quickly when things do happen," said Officer Mike Chavez. "We just ask that parents be diligent talk to their children about the situation and ask them if they have concerns."

Chavez said parents can also bring their concerns to police. 

"We do ask that if parents do have any fears, they contact the Geneseo police department. We do have access to professionals that can also help interview their children if need be."

Police said the investigation is ongoing and are asking anyone with information to call the Geneseo Police Department at 309-944-5141 or Henry County Crime Stoppers at 309-937-2324. 


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