This is a joint report brought to you by Reduxx and The Publica.
A transgender male who was the subject of multiple complaints after reportedly exposing himself in the women’s locker room of an Ohio YMCA has been cleared of charges of public indecency, largely due to his weight. Now, a woman who says she was sexually assaulted by him is decrying the verdict.
Darren Glines, who is obese, was spotted naked on multiple occasions in the women’s facilities last year, but narrowly avoided a conviction after his defense argued that his genitalia was obscured by the fat of his gut.
Glines, 31, had been the subject of several complaints for incidents that occurred at the YMCA in Xenia, Ohio between November 2021 and November 2022. It first came to public attention after a local pastor penned a blog post discussing the issues with gender self-identification at the YMCA.
In his post, Mark Atherton, a Christian minister, stated that he had reached out to YMCA President Dale Brunner and Vice Presidents Joshua Sullenberger and David Thompson, and had been told that gender self-identification was the policy.
“In other words, and these are my words, men with gender confusion, who feel like a female, will be able to enter and use restrooms, locker rooms, and showers alongside women–and vice versa,” Atherton wrote. “I know a person who was told that if they objected to being in these facilities with someone of the opposite sex, they must use the special needs/family facility.”
As previously reported by Reduxx, Glines was charged with three counts of indecent exposure in January of this year. But, on April 28, Glines was cleared by the Xenia Municipal Court despite three women having testified to seeing “a naked man” in the common area of the women’s locker room.
In his ruling, Judge David McNamee determined that “the facts do not exist to support a finding of guilt,” on the basis that Glines’ “genitalia was not visible as a result of other portions of [his] body covering same.”
According to a trial witness, Glines, who weighs over 350lbs, was found not guilty because “his gut ‘covered’” his genital area.
Speaking to Reduxx and The Publica, Kateisha Young says the results were “devastating” for the victims and their families, but added that she “wasn’t surprised.”
Young had been called to act as a rebuttal witness on behalf of the prosecution. An employee of the YMCA in the nearby town of Fairborn, she had a disturbing personal experience with Glines that resulted in her having to get a protective order against him.
“I used to be more pro-trans rights on this particular issue,” Young explains, noting that she had met Glines after he had begun visiting the Fairborn YMCA. During their first conversation, Glines told her he was transgender in an effort to have her refer to him with “she/her” pronouns.
But what was a friendly relationship quickly took a disturbing turn as Glines began to press Young for information on her masturbation habits, sex, and other intimate topics.
“When he started sharing his sexual fantasies… I tried really hard to tolerate it. I tried to be open to the idea that it was maybe just an aspect of transitioning,” Young says. “I had wanted to be sympathetic and compassionate.”
Young says in November of 2022, members of the YMCA began coming in and demanding their memberships be canceled.
“It was because of the locker room policy saying that people could use the locker room they identified with,” Young explains. “One couple came in and my entire work force ended up surrounding them because the wife was going off. She was asking ‘what is a woman’ and demanding we tell her what a woman was.”
Young says the wife turned to her husband and asked staff if he could identify as a woman, to which staff replied that he would just have to change his gender marker on his YMCA membership to use the women’s facilities.
At the time, Young did not know the patron outrage was related to Glines’ behavior at the Xenia YMCA, and assumed it was due to transphobia. Her assumption was bolstered after Glines began complaining to her that he had been facing discrimination in Xenia.
“He said he didn’t feel comfortable at the Xenia YMCA anymore, and I did feel bad for him and genuinely thought he was legitimately trans and facing discrimination,” Young says, then unaware that Glines had been accused of exposing himself to women and girls. “I was even suggesting we arrange a protest. I was all in for supporting him through the attacks.”
Prior to the incident, Young says she had given little consideration to how gender self-identification could be abused.
“I mean, yeah, it was a fear. But since I wasn’t seeing it, it seemed like something that didn’t happen. It felt like no one could get away with that.”
Expressing sadness over his treatment, Glines invited Young out for coffee to discuss his experience, and she accepted under the belief she was supporting a member of a marginalized group. The two met at a local Waffle House in early December, and Young says Glines spent a lot of time condemning a local pastor, unaware that the pastor’s wife had been one of the women who had complained about Glines exposing himself to her.
In an attempt to be comforting, Young gave Glines a friendly hug at the end of their discussion, but what was meant to be a friendly gesture quickly turned into sexual assault. Young, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, says Glines grabbed her genitals and rear, leaving her shocked and disgusted.
“[The assault] is stacked on another similar trauma from my childhood… it’s not new to me,” Young says. “But the thing that upsets me the most is the foolery… he let me believe he was a friend, and he told me that he wasn’t interested in me sexually. Then, as I’m trying to comfort him with a hug… I’m thrown for a loop, world-shattering reality.”
She reported the incident to the police within 48 hours, and provided Reduxx and The Publica with a copy of the report. Police noted that Young was reluctant to press charges, but felt the need to do so in the event Glines were to target others.
Young explains that following the assault, Glines began to frequent the Fairborn YMCA at times he would have known she was scheduled to work.
“He knew my work schedule because I had previously told it to him when he asked. So three times he showed up while I was working,” Young says. “Each time, I fight or flight ran and hid behind another coworker who would tell me when Darren had gone.”
Young became so anxious that she sought a protective order, which was granted at the beginning of January.
Just three short weeks later, Young learned that Glines had been charged with indecent exposure at the Xenia YMCA. Because of her own experience with Glines, Young contacted the Green County Prosecutor and offered her testimony.
On the outcome of the trial, Young says she is “devastated” for the women involved, and worries that the verdict will “embolden” Glines to commit a similar act of either assault or exposure without fear of repercussion.
“I definitely think he will try what he did to me with someone else, especially with the not guilty verdict. He will feel emboldened to be exposed, but also he will have access to more sympathizers who are just as I was… ultimately naive [and] fooled, until he makes his move.”
Young is still working at the Fairborn YMCA and is currently under the protection of the restraining order, but worries that in the event the order is not renewed come its January of 2024 expiration that she will be forced to find other work in an effort to avoid him.
“I do live in constant anxiety that he will come into my workplace or that I will run into him somewhere. At least while the protection order is in place, I can assure myself he will be arrested if that happens.”
The incident in Xenia is just one of in a series of controversies surrounding YMCA locations across the United States allowing males in the women’s facilities, sometimes at the expense of female patrons.
In August of 2022, Reduxx interviewed a senior citizen in the small community of Port Townsend, Washington who had been banned from her local YMCA-run swimming pool after raising concerns about a trans-identified male who had been in the shower rooms.
Julie Jaman, 80, had been a guest at the Mountain View community pool for over 35 years. Speaking to Reduxx, Jaman revealed that on July 26, she witnessed a trans-identified male using the female locker rooms at the pool, and became concerned due to the fact he appeared to be watching the little girls as they changed out of their bathing suits.
Jaman picked up international attention after holding her own small protest outside of the YMCA, quickly gaining the support of women’s rights activists around the world.
Later that same month, Jaman’s supporters held a rally in Port Townsend which was met with violent backlash from trans activists.
In January, a strikingly similar incident was reported out of Santee, California, where a young woman became the target of trans activist vitriol after she took to a city council meeting to report that she had seen a male in the YMCA locker rooms.
17-year-old Rebecca Phillips teared up as she recounted her experience at the January 11 meeting, stating she had seen “a naked male in the women’s locker room.” She continued: “I immediately went back into the shower, terrified, and hid behind their flimsy excuse for a curtain, until he was gone. I ran into a bathroom stall to change as quickly as I could, organizing my thoughts to share with the people at the front desk. As I did so, I could only think of my five-year-old sister, who I bring to this gym during the summer.”
Phillips reported that she had brought her concerns up with YMCA staff, who told her the male had a right to be in the women’s facilities due to their policies on gender identity.
Phillips’ testimony quickly spread through social media and prompted a protest to be held outside of the Santee YMCA days later. During the demonstration, the trans-identified male involved in the incident came forward to reveal his identity.
Christynne Lili Wrene Wood, 66, announced publicly that he was the man that Phillips had been referring to in her January 11 testimony at the Santee City Council.
As reported by Reduxx, Wood had previously made headlines in 2021 after he sued a health facility for denying him access to the women’s changing area. Wood had won his suit against Crunch Fitness gym in El Cajon, California after claiming that the gym and its owner, John Romeo, had discriminated against him on the basis of his gender identity.
Further investigation by Reduxx would find that Wood had a disturbing social media history that included posting photos of little girls to which he compared himself.
EDITOR’S NOTE, 5/17/23: A previous version of this report stated that Young filed her report with police the day after she was assaulted by Glines in the Waffle House. Young has since clarified the report was filed two days later.