[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
We’re having a hard time wrapping our heads around the idea of parents bringing their kids to a nudist camp. But for any out there who are considering it, this story may make them second-guess that instinct.
According to a shocking criminal complaint obtained by the Star Tribune on Monday, a man was accused last week of the sexual assault of a CHILD — at a place that bills itself as a “family-friendly” nudist retreat. Steven H. Wicklund was charged Thursday with third-degree criminal sexual conduct after the incident, in which he inappropriately touched a 14-year-old girl.
The incident took place at Minnesota’s Oakwood Club. The club, one of the oldest of its kind in the US, was established way back in 1942. They promote the “naturist” lifestyle, described as “non-sexual nudity while doing everyday activities without clothes — in harmony with nature.” We don’t want to totally dismiss this as a concept for likeminded adults who want to try it. But there’s a problem when you bring in kids too young to necessarily understand the ramifications of this kind of exposure — to each other, but even more seriously to adults. This place welcomes visitors of all ages.
The 14-year-old was apparently at the club with her grandparents in July. At one point she found herself in the clubhouse alone with Wicklund, whom she was introduced to as “a family friend.” A minor left alone with an adult man she barely knew, basically a stranger, and they were both nude. The 69-year-old allegedly digitally penetrated the young girl while she touched him sexually. Per the complaint, the teen says Wicklund told her “it was fine and normal” they were touching one another this way. She says she told him to stop, but he placed her hand on his own genitals.
The police were alerted by the girl’s mother. When she was back home, the mom found her daughter’s phone — which allegedly contained messages from Wicklund which were sexual in nature. One such text read:
“Have you been masturbating or having sex with your girlfriends?”
He also asked the young girl for nude photos of herself and her friends. After being confronted with the phone messages, the young woman explained what happened at Oakwood. The mother then contacted a sheriff’s detective, and they confirmed the contents of the phone.
Wicklund — who was visiting Oakwood from his home in Pepin, Wisconsin, about two hours away from the Stacy, Minnesota club — is due in court on January 12. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
At this time Oakwood has not released a statement on the incident. What do YOU think about “family-friendly” nudist camps??
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence and would like to learn more about resources, consider checking out https://www.rainn.org/resources.
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