Police: More victims of sexual assault at daycare center identified

8:07 AM, Aug 9, 2010   |    comments
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Investigators say they have reason to believe there are still more victims.

Sunday afternoon, police held an emergency meeting for parents of children attending the daycare center.

The Colorado Department of Human Services closed the Park Hill United Methodist Daycare on Friday.

They said they found "serious and significant supervision issues" during a recent visit.

9NEWS spoke to several parents Sunday who say they are concerned but they don't blame the church.

Some parents say they're standing behind the church, they say has been the cornerstone of their community.

"I think we've got a circumstance of one bad apple," Kevin Hodgson said.

"We've got a fantastic reputation," Mother Staci Amend said. "This has got to be an isolated incident, or it wouldn't have been such an incredibly important place for our whole neighborhood for all these years."

Denver Police arrested 19-year-old Benjamin Janicki last Wednesday. According to court documents, a young girl at the center notified her parents she had been "licked and tickled" by Janicki.

Police say they will not release details surrounding what happened to the other two victims, nor will they release a mug shot.

An e-mail sent to the parents of the children said Janicki was a summer hire Pre-K aide. Those who work at the school say he is an alumnus of the school. Records show Janicki has no previous arrests

Sunday's meeting was closed to the media. It lasted nearly three hours, with parents asking questions to a child psychologist. There are one hundred families now scrambling to find alternative care for their children. Some are finding it takes up to 18 months to get into other programs.

"The impact in the community of the school being closed indefinitely is incredible. I think we may end up with some of the other kids just at our house," Amend said.

It's still unclear when the center will be allowed to reopen. It's also unclear even if it does reopen - whether parents will re-enroll their children.

"I think what were going to have to do is go through this meeting today and find out what the policies and procedures are, and what they're going to change, and how that's going to effect those involved," Hodgson said.

Since police have identified a third victim, a judge raised Janicki's bond. It is now at $650,000.

According to the Denver Police Victim Assistance Unit, warning signs that indicate a child may have been sexually assaulted include a child acting younger than his or her age, frequent nightmares, and difficulties concentrating.

(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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