Former aviation youth leader arrested for sexual assault of a child

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OUTAGAMIE COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - A Neenah man who served as a leader in a local youth aviation program has been accused of sexually assaulting a teenage boy.

Robb J. Szymik, 46, is charged with Using a Computer to Facilitate a Sex Crime; Sexual Assault of a Child Under 16; Soliciting a Child for Prostitution; and Child Enticement.

Szymik's LinkedIn page show he served as Vice President of the Youth Aviation Camp for 22 years. It operates under the name of Aviation Explorer Base, which has removed Szymik from any "involvement or contact" with the organization. (Read a full statement from Aviation Exploration Base below.)

On July 5, an Oneida police officer was called to investigate a report of a suspicious vehicle near Fish Creek Road in an area reserved for Oneida Nation tribal members.

A criminal complaint obtained by Action 2 News states the officer located Robb Szymik sitting in the driver's seat of a truck parked in the area.

While the officer was talking with Szymik, a woman stopped to report seeing someone run down the road out of the tree line.

The person was later identified as a 14-year-old boy.

The complaint says Szymik initially claimed he did not know the person running from the area, but later admitted to contacting the teen through a social media app to meet for a "hook up."

Szymik told investigators he didn't know how old the boy was, but noticed that he "looked younger" and told him to get out of the truck.

The teen told investigators that he met Szymik on a dating app called "Grindr." The boy said he previously met with Szymik at the same location in May 2017. The victim said Szymik offered to pay the teen $75 to have sex.

The teen said they did not have sex but did take part in a sex act. The teen said he told Szymik that he was 14 years old.

The victim said on July 5, Szymik contacted him on Grindr and they met up at the same area. Szymik sexually assaulted the teen in his truck, according to the criminal complaint.

When the police officer arrived to investigate the suspicious vehicle, Szymik told the victim to run and hide in the bushes, according to the criminal complaint.

Szymik was taken into custody. The criminal complaint states that officers searched his truck and found a video camera; a name tag with the title "Aviation Explorer Base-Vice Chairman"; and an invoice showing Szymik has a leadership role in the "EAA Boy Scouts."

The Aviation Explorer Base, located in Oshkosh, partners young people with advisers to learn about airplanes.

The Aviation Explorer Base released this statement to Action 2 News:

"Upon hearing of the arrest of Robb Szymik for alleged felony child sex acts, the Aviation Exploration Base immediately took action to remove him from any involvement or contact with the Aviation Exploration Base. All staff and leaders involved with the Aviation Exploration Base have been made aware of the situation.

Based on the current investigation and legal proceedings, none of Mr. Szymik’s alleged criminal activity involved anyone associated with or involved in the Aviation Exploration Base, we took immediate action to remove this individual and prohibit him from any future participation in the Aviation Exploration Base program, Exploring and all Scouting programs.

Nothing is more important than the safety of our youth members. We seek to prevent child abuse through comprehensive policies and procedures to serve as barriers to abuse. These include a thorough screening process for adult leaders and staff, requiring youth protection training of all adult leaders and volunteers, and the prompt mandatory reporting of any allegation or suspicion of abuse."

A spokesperson for the Experimental Aviation Association (EAA) says the Aviation Explorer Base is not affiliated with EAA but members do volunteer work. The spokesperson also says there is no organization called "EAA Boy Scouts."

Szymik is being held on a $50,000 cash bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 11.

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